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Oldřich Blažíček

(5. 1. 1887 – 3. 5. 1953)

Oldřich Blažíček was born in Slavkovice into the humble beginnings of a rural tailor’s family. He apprenticed as a painter and decorator, and moved to Prague, often returning to the Vysočina region to paint the sorrounding countryside. With the help of a patron he gained the financial means to study, first at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of H. Schweiger.

He travelled extensively both during and after his studies (Italy, Dalmacia, Rügen, Bul­garia, Turkey, Romania, France, Spain, Norway, Ruthenia and  Slovakia) and painted a variety of church interiors and landscapes on these trips. It was his exceptional ability to capture interior architecture that earned him a place as professor of drawing and painting at the Czech Technical University in Prague, a position he held from 1921 till 1939.

Blažíček’s work encompasses a wide range of subjects (figure study’s and compositions, still lifes and architectural interiors), but he gained recognition mainly as a painter of the Czech countryside. He made trips to Vysočina his entire life, but also to Valašsko, Železné hory, Hanná and Čáslavsko. He painted plein air in all seasons, often in the winter, but most favoured painting in the early spring, when the snow was melting – Spring song of Vysočina (Jarní píseň Vysočiny) (1928). His paintings from travels abroad and at home are characterised by spontaneous, light brush strokes and a warm colourful approach. He gained many awards in his home country and in international exhibitions. His paintings are included in the collections of the National Gallery in Prague, the Moravská Gallery in Brno, the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen and the Horácká Gallery. He published his memoirs under the name Mládí na Vysočině.