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Biography

Academic painter Josef Fiala

„Appreciating the legacy of our ancestors“

David Fiala

Slovutný mistře,
Zvěděl jsem v zařezanosti své oklikou
a pozdě o zakulacené řadě dnů žití Vašeho.
Blahopřeji Vám k tomu velmi vysokému
stupni umění, kterého jste tak svéráznou horskou
cestou dosáhl a přeji mnohá šťastná léta ve
zdraví a na vrcholu.
V úctě srdečné Vám i milostivé paní provždy oddaný
Ak. Malíř Franta Kaván t.č. Libeň 117

19.8.1932

So many of the extant letter painter František Kavan addressed to Josef Fiala on his jubilee.

Painter, portraitist, figural and landscape painter Josef Fiala was born July 31, 1882 in Prague Košíře to the family Vaclav Fiala merchant with flour. Both parents were from rural. He inherited a love for nature and the country life. Since childhood he was an enthusiastic draftsman, but he did not find at his parents so much enthusiasm for his painting hobby. After viewing biography personally drawn up by the painter himself in 1911, we learn that his path to the painting wasn´t so simple and straightforward.

„…I went to primary school and in 1893 entered to the first class grammar school in Smíchov and in 1894 I transferred to II. Class c.k. up. Grammar School in Malá  Strana in Prague,Where I stayed until 1897 when I ended up on the 9th march 1897 with the intention helping widowed mother. I was two years in mother's shop, then I finished business school and I was two and a half years in practice as accountant in the mill. Suddenly I decided and passed the exam at the Academy of Arts in Prague, because I had a great fondness for painting since childhood. I graduated after five years on the Academy of Arts in Prague and I went to the Academy of Art in Munich, where I lived from a scholarship. Then I received a travel scholarship and I took several trips to Italy, France, England, Holland and Belgium, and recently I returned to Prague ..“

On c.k. Academy in Prague, he studied with professor Hynais with "excellent evaluation". Excellent foundations Hynais´s school, undeniable talent and a healthy relationship to the rural environment formed Fiala´s artistic intellect and reflected in his extensive lifelong work.
And these study trips to Europe awoke up in Josef Fiala powerful desire for rural Czech and Czech village. First he went to Chodsko and South Bohemia, but most of his importnat works created in the poor beloved Vysočina. There he he was pulled by chance and curiosity. According to the memory of son Josef Fiala, Eugene, painters of association Union of Artists visited Vysočina of curiosity. They wanted to know,  what it is the Vysočina region, where Antonín Slavíček painted the famous painting "At Kameničky". Joseph Fiala was completely conquered by picturesqueness and beauty of the Vysočina. He was so inspired. He worked half of the year in Milovy near Svratka and the second half of the year worked according memories in his studio in Prague Nusle. At that time it was created paintings like "Escape shepherdesses in a storm," "In the meadows," "Bathing Boys," "Children on the borderline" or "Workers 'Madonna'.As for the  "Workes Madonna" creator was inspired by V. Hynais´s  Madonna created in 1875 th .Although the concept of J. Fiala is not so much religious, influence of teachers per pupil is more than evident. Apart from a few studies Fialova´s "Workers Madonna" have been created in three versions. The main motive is a young married couple with nobly beautiful faces agricultural type. The model of mother is Fiala's wife Eugenie. Artistic conception and technical processing of paintings is truly masterful, that one of the versions was purchased by the Norwegian royal galleries.

On Fiala´s cavans almost always appear people in their daily work in the fields or in the woods. Children are most at his paintings, during the collection of blueberries, while playing in the meadow, or around campfire. He painted in such a way they actually were, excited and eagerly in the face, but also with a sadness in their eyes. According to the memories of the Fiala´s children, he painted them and their friends on the hilly meadow near Svratka so for that reason it called Fialovna and because he had a very developed social conscience he payed children models  the same salary as getting their parents for hard work in the field per hour.
Josef Fiala painted after the Second World War and arrival of the communists in Milovy, but his inner disagreement with the times and changes and the need to adapt, forced him to produce works which already weren´t so picturesque and understanding.
Academic painter Josef Fiala died in 1963 and his remains are stored in the columbarium of St. Nicholas church on Old Town Square where during his military service along with other painters restored wall frescoes in the dome. Linking his life and afterlife in one temple place is the end of the artistically and humanly interesting being.