Jindřich Vlček (1885–1968), the painter of Russian legions | The Siberian Anabasis of the World War I

curator: Klára Zářecká

The warfares of the World War I left their marks on the whole Europe and on the fates of its inhabitants. The painter Jindřich Vlček, the native of Malá Skalice, the student of the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, graduated on the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Prof. H. Schwaiger), wounded on the Russian front as a soldier of the Austro-Hungarian Army shortly after the mobilization in 1914, and captured in 1915.

The time spent in the Russian captivity and later in the Czech legions in Russia (1918–1920) did not artificially while away. Despite the danger of death, the war life´s difficulties, the discomfort, and the limited fine art´s tools, he does not hesitate to capture the fleeting moments of the fights in the front line and the snapshots of the prisoner´s war life, the battlefield´s views, the legionnaire´s portraits and their miserable journey back to homeland.

He became the keen observer, the tireless reporter and the visual chronicler of the Russian legion´s life, whose work nowadays represents his personal testimony of the Czech soldier´s heroism and offers space for understanding their hard lives during the war.