Following the success of our Oldřich Kulhánek calendar, we have just released our 2021 calendar, this time dedicated to another inimitable creator of banknotes, Karel Svolinský.
Painter and graphic artist Karel Svolinský (1896-1986) made his name in the history of Czech fine arts with his incredibly extensive works including, in addition to paintings and graphic designs, rich illustrations, postage stamp designs, banknote designs, and even templates for tapestries and puppets. He also worked in scenography and designed theatre costumes. In public places, you can find his work in the Olomouc Astronomical Clock or in the stained glass of the Cathedral of St. Vitus in the Prague district of Hradčany. In the post-war era, Svolinský worked as a professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, where he taught a number of prominent artists.
He honed his skills at the studio of Professor Štěpán Zálešák, the sculpture studio of Bohumil Kafka, and the studio of special graphic artist Professor František Kysela. It is likely no coincidence that Svolinský later began to design banknotes. Probably his most famous banknote design is a twenty-five-crown note from 1958, with a depiction of Jan Žižka in portrait on the reverse. The wonderfully designed portrait of the Hussite military commander was further enhanced with a superb engraving by Jindřich Schmidt. His first banknote, however, was a twenty-crown note from as early as 1949, featuring a portrait of a girl in a folk costume on the obverse. Thanks to its concept and design, which departed from the current artistic trend, the note was significantly ahead of its time. The most attractive collector’s piece designed by Svolinský is a CSK 100 banknote which was printed from 1951. Due to a planned monetary reform, however, it never entered circulation. A similar fate awaited his CSK 50 treasury note from 1950, which did not even reach the printing stage.
Over the years, Svolinský received numerous prizes and a range of national awards for his work. Svolinský’s work influenced significant students and successors, including Oldřich Kulhánek, creator of the current series of Czech banknotes.
Buy a gift for yourself or your loved ones. In the individual months of the Karel Svolinský calendar, we present a selection of this versatile painter and graphic artist’s creations. The limited edition wall calendar with just 100 production copies is available exclusively from the STC e-shop. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a copy of this unique calendar.
The trilingual calendar in Czech, English and Russian contains the design of a CSK 25 banknote (1958), a postage stamp design with a folk customs motif (1959), an illustration of winter from the work “The Czech Year” (1960), an illustration for the poem “May” by Karel Hynek Mácha (1925), Blue Tit and Kingfisher postage stamp designs (1959), the design of a CSK 20 treasury note (1949), Girl surrounded by birds (1947), a Poppy postage stamp design (1964), the design of an unissued CSK 50 treasury note (1950), an illustration of autumn (1947), a postage stamp design featuring Josef Dobrovský (1953) and a portrait of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1935).