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Jiri Bouda

Jiri Bouda

Printing, painting, ilustrations


* May 5, 1934
+ August 23, 2015

Jiri Bouda war born on May 5, 1934, in the family of academic painter Cyril Bouda. Both his mother's and his father's families were devoted to arts and it was obvious the child drawing from his early childhood cannot do anything else. Finally this resulted in the decision to study the State Graphic School. The school provided young Bouda not only excellent basis of graphical arts, but also craft universality. After that Jiří Bouda started to study at the Academy of Decorative Arts in the studio of Prof. Karel Svolinský. Professor Svolinský, enthusiastic folklore painter, did not like to see a student allured by civil and technical motives, nevertheless he acknowledged his craftsmanship, sovereign manuscript and visual sense. Bouda graduated from the Academy in 1959 and his graduation work was a calendar including Prague motives with dominating transportation theme. He firmly decided in favour of this theme immediately after graduation from the Academy. To learn the environment, he accepted a job with the railways. He became a signaller at the signal cabin in Prague - Bubenec.

After a short time he had to join up the army. Fortunately he was selected into the then Army Art Studio and during his service he could devote his efforts to arts. After his return from the army Jiří Bouda accepted unusual and very challenging task - to restore an extensive Langweil's model of the city of Prague at the Municipal Museum. The paper model dating back to the mid-19th century was significantly damaged, some parts had to be fully reconstructed. He had been working on this task with his wife Jana, also an artist, for six years. During this reconstruction he thoroughly studied the work of Prague painter Vincenc Morstadt, whose charming Prague veduttes helped him to learn and reconstruct the original form of damaged parts of the model. Later veduttes of the city became his permanent inspiration. Until today he created several dozens of cycles of Czech and Moravian cities. Bouda has never been a monumental painter. He has always been inspired by small formats. This is why he liked one of the characteristic forms of small graphics - exlibris. On twenty square centimetres of a free space of his working table he created thousands of them. They are admired, well known and acknowledged by thousands of collectors all over the world. This predetermined him to create stamps. However, the most favourite work of Jiri Bouda is painting on lithographic stone. This requires sovereignty, promptness and completeness of composition. His colour lithographs are rich in topics, including not only Czech cities but a number of motives from Prague documenting its gradual evolution. Since 1968 as a chairman of the group for study and documentation of the railway history he participated in the rescue of a number of important technical monuments. One of his latest remarkable works is a cycle of six panoramic views devoted to the memory of brutally destroyed railway station Praha - Tesnov. He has been co-operating with technical museums in a number of exhibitions, such as "100 Years of Public Transportation in Prague" in 1975, "100 Years of Public Transportation in the Czech Lands" in Brno or "How People Used to Travel" at the National Technical Museum. He is an illustrator of a number of books on transportation. Jiří Bouda speaks by his pictures about the railway in an understandable and gentle language. In today's world full of dramas and frantic hastiness his pictures are poetic stops.

Jiri Bouda is a long-term member of Hollar Graphical Association and with his works he deservedly belongs among top Czech graphic artists.