The Museum of Avant-garde

František Drtikol

Czech Republic (1883—1961)
Born in Pribram, Drtikol studied arts and photography in Munich, where he got influenced by Symbolism and Jugendstil or Art Nouveau. Back in Czech Republic, he started to work as a photographer specialising in portraits of prominent personalities of the country. His success led him to slowly focus exclusively on photography: he produced a vast amount of work, mainly portraits for famous and prominent personalities in Prague. He drew inspiration from Cubism and Art Deco sculpural traits and Expressionism. He worked on portraits and landscapes and developed his own style with his “dynamic nudes” – result of light and shadow of a pattern over a body – seen as pure aesthetics. In 1935 a firm shift in his career happened as he decided to close his studio in Prague and abandon photography. From that moment onwards he worked exclusively on painting and his theosophical studies, opting for a more private life. He died in 1961.