2010
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The Slovak tinkers in the Czech visual art by Monika Váleková

Viktor Stretti: Tinker, water-colour, 1895Many European visual artists like the figures of travelling Slovak tinkers. Tinkers were frequently and specifically displayed by the Czech visual artists. Tinkers have often gone to the Czech lands because they liked the location, language and positive mood of the Czech national society towards them in the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century.
Many pictures, sometimes sculptures, support the idea that the Czech artists in the second half of the 19th century believed that tinkers are the symbol of the Slovaks. By liking tinkers, they liked Slovakia and the Slovaks. The Czech painters and sculptures gave tinkers specific features which you cannot find in the artworks of the Austrian, Hungarian, French or German artists. They painted idealistic or heroic figures of tinkers which may refer to the time when the Czechs and Slovaks fought their national fight. Popular Czech painter Josef Mánes paint them similarly in the mid 19th century. In the late 19th century and in the early 20th century, the Czech artists made a large collection of paintings with real tinkers. In addition to several anonymous artists, painters Viktor Stretti, Karel Špillar, Augustín Němejc, Jaroslav Augusta and sculptor Franta Uprka painted tinkers how they really looked like. Portraits from the early 20th century refer to the internal world of tinkers.

 


Further articles magazine Craft, Art, Design 02/2010:

 

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