František Kupka

From Prague to his native region

The Czech Republic, a country with rich history and traditions, can be proud of its famous personalities. František Kupka, the world-known painter and pioneer of abstract painting, ranks among them. Let us show you round the places connected with his life and work.

František Kupka was born in 1871 in Opočno but spent his youth in nearby Dobruška. He had been showing a big talent for painting since his childhood. In Jaroměř, by the intercession of the patron Josef Archleb, he began to prepare for studies at the Prague Academy of Arts. After his studies he lived in Vienna for a while. From here he moved to Paris in 1895 where he soon successfully started his career as a painter, cartoonist and illustrator. In 1912 he exhibited his paintings Amorpha: Fugue in Two Colours and Warm Chromatics at the Autumn Salon in Paris. He showed his patriotic feelings during World War One when he helped to organize the Czechoslovak legions in France. In 1920 Kupka met an industrialist Jindřich Waldes, who then became his patron and prominent collector. František Kupka died in Puteaux near Paris on 24th June 1957. His work had developed from descriptive realism to its final form of abstraction, being influenced by the art tendencies of those days. Kupka’s first works can be found in the Homeland Museum in Dobruška, his masterpieces then in the prominent galleries of the world. In the Czech Republic his works are displayed in the National Gallery in Prague and in the Sova’s Mills in Prague – Kampa.