It was Václav Radimský, who in 1899 familiarized Czechs with French Impressionism. After attending two painting preparatory schools in Vienna and in Munich, he settled down in France. At present, his works are presented by the City Gallery, Prague in the Municipal Library.

Clemenceau also bought one of his paintings

Since 1891, had Radimský lived in Barbizon where he became a member of a local group of painters. He was successful and his paintings sold well in France. Troubles started during WW I. Radimský was interned, due to the fact that he was a citizen of an enemy power. In the end he was saved by Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, who also bought one of his paintings.

Famous friends

His friends in France included the best painters in the world, among others also Claude Monet. It is said that they used to paint in Radimský’s boat. This seems quite likely. After all, some of his paintings considerably correspond to Monet’s works.

Getting acquainted with impressionism

“Radimský was successful in France. He had exhibitions in Paris. In 1894, Radimský, as the youngest painter of that time, received an award for his painting called Ferns (Etudes de Fougères),“ said the curator of the exhibition Naděžda Blažíčková-Horová. One year later, he received a medal in Rouen and in 1900 he also received one at the World Exhibition in Paris. “With his 88 paintings exhibited at ‘U Topiče’ in 1899, he gave the Czech public the first information about impressionism,“ added the curator. Magazines Zlatá Praha, Světozor and Volné Směry regularly printed reproductions of his paintings.

Two hundred paintings

Some two hundred paintings have been gathered for the exhibition, with a special emphasis on the  triptych Pohled na Kolín (View of Kolín) painted on large canvas measuring 3x8.5 metres. The triptych also divides Radimský’s works on those painted in France and those painted after his return home.