Do you like Schikaneder's "Street in Winter" on this stamp? Find out more!
(1. 3. 1855 Prague - 15. 11. 1924 Prague)
Presenting artworks on postage stamps is an original and honorable undertaking of Czech Post. Creating a stamp like this one, however, involves an elaborate process and a lot of effort. Here is the story of our stamp.
To start with, a team of specialists had to short-list a selection of artworks of highest quality and art historical significance. The next important step was actually choosing an appropriate painting. It was the captivating atmosphere of Jakub Schikaneder’s “Street in Winter” that intrigued and fascinated the leadership of the Postal Museum in Prague.
“Street in Winter” is a unique example of Schikaneder’s work from the first half of the 20th century. It contains two typical themes – the light of the lantern as a symbol of the inner and the outer sphere of life, and the single person expressing the author’s personal sentiments towards Prague.
Czech engraver Václav Fajt then engraved the image for the stamp, which was then transferred onto paper using 5-colour recess printing and a flat printing plate to produce sheets for 4 stamps, each one sized 40x50 mm with a nominal value of CZK 25,-.
Schikaneder's painting "Street in Winter" which inspired the deign of a postal stamp, can be found today in the collection of artworks of The Pudil Family Foundation.
Jakub Schikaneder is a painter belonging to the generation of the National Theatre in Prague and an important professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. Schikaneder studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague between 1870 and 1878 under J. M. Trakwald, J. Sweerts and A. Lhota. He later joined E. K. Liška in Munich where they both studied under Otto Seitz. In Munich, Schikaneder was strongly influenced by the sentimentality of Gabriel Max.
However, the painter quickly found his own artistic path by expressing his destiny and personal disappointments in themes of human misery, poverty and unhappiness, which added a tone of social criticism to his work. Schikaneder’s paintings focused on grave sentiments and the relationship between characters and their surroundings. Schikaneder’s artistic style was inclined towards naturalism and social awareness that climaxed post 1880 in the monumental painting “Murder in the house”. He later pursued also traditional landscape painting and was interested in light color transitions.
For their high decorative qualities, Schikaneder’s canvases were shown in the Czech pavilions at the World expositions in 1900 and 1904. This mature phase of Schikaneder’s work is characterized by urban, often dark, landscapes and interiors, which opposed the consonance and strangeness between human figures and their surroundings. The color transitions are enhanced thanks to Schinkaneder’s combination of natural light with other sources of light, especially in his Prague motives. In his late work, Schikaneder returned frequently to motives from embankments and quay landscapes.
Schikaneder gained his first experience with decorative painting while working for the National Theatre in Prague. Together with E. K. Liška, Schikaneder created the embellishment of the frieze in the king lodge which represented three historical periods of the Czech lands- the reign of the Premyslids, the House of Luxembourg and the Habsburgs. Unfortunately, his work was destroyed during the fire in the National Theater and replaced by works from Brožík.
Schikaneder made numerous journeys to art centers and other interesting places in Europe and continued to do so even after he settled in Prague in 1885. He travelled for instance to Germany, France, England, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland and Italy. In 1894 he took a full professor position at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.
- Coll. authors: New Encyclopedia of Czech Art, Academia Praha
- Tomáš Vlček: Jakub Schikneder, Odeon 1985
The Pudil Family Foundation
The Pudil Family Foundation is an open non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of Czech and international modern and contemporary art through the realization of innovative exhibitions, research and educational projects.
For more information regarding the Foundation and our projects, visit www.pudilfamilyfoundation.org.