Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Czech Republic 2016 - Works of Art on Postage Stamps: Bedrich Stefan

COUNTRY: Czech Republic
ISSUE DATE: 9 November 2016
STAMP SIZE: 50 x 40 mm
THEME: Two women (1929) by Jaroslav Král  
STAMP DESIGN: Jaroslav Tvrdoň

BEDŘICH STEFAN (1896 – 1982): Girl with absinth, 1924, The National Gallery in Prague. The theme of the stamp is the polychrome baked clay sculpture “Girl with absinth”.

Bedřich Stefan (09 December 1896, Prague - 31 March 1982, Prague) was a Czech sculptor, medal designer and professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

From 1911-14, he trained as a plasterer in Prague where he also attended evening drawing courses at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (Prof. Luděk Wurzl, J. Plichta). In 1914, he was admitted to study with Prof. Josef Drahoňovský and Bohumil Kafka, but had to interrupt the studies due to military service from 1917-19. He then finished the studies with Prof. Otakar Španiel.

From 1919-23, he studied sculpting with Jan Štursa at the Academy of Fine Arts and after graduation he became an assistant to Otto Gutfreund (1924). In 1925-26, he received a French government’s scholarship and visited nude art courses in the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and worked as a drawer for Le Corbusier. In the 1930s, he visited Paris every year.

After his return to Prague, Stefan won several important public contracts for sculptures to decorate Prague buildings, such as the portal of the Law Faculty of Charles University (1928), St. Wenceslas’ Church in Vršovice (1930-33).

During World War II, he built his own studio and married sculptor Hana Wichterlová (1942). From 1946-58, he was a professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, teaching students such as Václav Frydecký and Jiří Seifert.

On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1966, he received the State Award for his sculptures for the Lidice Memorial and was named an Artist of Merit.

Stefan’s first exhibition together with other artists of the Devětsil group took place in 1922, and was followed by exhibitions with members of the association of artists Mánes from 1930. His first solo exhibition took place in the National Gallery in Prague’s Belveder not sooner than 1980. His intimate sculptures were displayed by Prague’s Millennium Gallery in 2001.


Stamp images and description thanks to Česká pošta