SCULPTOR AND ARCHITECT. Correspondence between František Bílek and Josef Fanta.

Author: Martin Krummholz

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Price: CZK 790

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Publisher: GHMP
Year of publication: 2023
Number of pages: 368
Size: 210 × 279 mm
Language: Czech, English
ISBN: 978-80-7010-182-7

Editor: Martin Krummholz
Text: Martin Krummholz
Photos: Archiv architektury Národního technického muzea, Archiv GHMP, Archiv Národní galerie Praha, Josef Jindřich Šechtl, Literární archiv Památníku národního písemnictví, Státní okresní archiv Nymburk – Archiv města Poděbrady, Uměleckoprůmyslové museum v Praze, Tomáš Souček
Translation to English: David Vichnar
Editing of Czech text: Eva Hrubá
Editing of English text: Jeffrey A. Howe
Graphic design: Anymade studio
Produktion: Anna Kulíčková
Print: tiskárna H.R.G.

The title of the publication Sculptor and Architect: Correspondence Between František Bílek and Josef Fanta paraphrases the title of the 1948 publication of Bílek’s correspondence with the poet Julius Zeyer. It was through Zeyer and Zdenka Braunerová that the young Bílek also met the architect Josef Fanta (1856–1954).

The nature of their brief (and characteristically ambivalent) friendship and its significance for Bílek’s work has not yet been the subject of scholarly interest. Their mutual correspondence
contains a wealth of previously unknown information concerning the sculptor’s early creative period and sheds light on the circumstances of some of his important commissions. The annotated edition of both artists’ letters is introduced by a collection of several selected, previously unpublished documents describing Bílek’s difficult beginnings, including his own description of the legendary fateful confrontation with Josef Václav Myslbek in September 1892. In order to make Bílek’s remarkable personality and his work accessible to foreign scholars, the entire publication is bilingual; the transcribed letters have been translated into English.

The edition of the previously unpublished mutual correspondence between the sculptor František Bílek (1872–1941) and the architect Josef Fanta (1856–1954) contains a wealth of previously unknown information about Bílek’s early creative period and some of his important commissions. Although Fanta was one of Julius Zeyer’s close friends, his relationship with Bílek was nevertheless characteristically complicated and controversial. The annotated and contextualized edition of both artists’ letters is accompanied by an introductory study and several other documents – here newly published – that shed light on Bílek’s troubled beginnings, including his fateful clash with Myslbek in September 1892.

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