Dealing with not only specific artists in the context of their national identity, but also with overarching themes in the rise of modernism, Czech Modern Painters is an articulate and well-researched overview of modern art styles of the former Czechoslovakia, focusing on impressionism, art nouveau, and cubism. This study covers three generations of artists who changed the landscape of traditional art at the turn of the twentieth century, and looks specifically at how these artists pushed the boundaries of and came into conflict with the work of their predecessors. To do so, Petr Wittlich has combed through each artist's work in art school, galleries, and new art journals, while tracking each individual's personal style. On the basis of carefully selected art works (over 100 colour reproductions and 35 additional illustrations), the author explains the aesthetic theory of each movement and provides biographical information on the leading personalities of the period and brief, incisive captions for each reproduction. Wittlich also investigates the profound influence of capitalism, and the way in which these artists departed from the prevailing aesthetic tastes of their contemporaries.
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