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The Czech hermit

By Zhu Linyong (China Daily)

08:34, May 07, 2012

Modern Hermit of Czech offers viewers a glimpse of the mysterious, contemplative artworks of Bohuslav Reynek (1892-1971).

Dark, brooding figures composed of scratchy lines on a dusky background and a few bright highlights typify his works.

Due to the religious themes, his works couldn't be shown in Czechoslovakia from 1948 through the mid-1960s.

Born into a family of farmers at the end of the 19th century, the artist largely taught himself his craft.

In the early 1930s, Reynek studied a book on graphic techniques that inspired a lifelong interest in dry point and etching.

For most of his life, Reynek lived in rural isolation in the village of Petrkov, in the rugged Vysocina region. He created deeply spiritual, Christianity-inspired graphics after reading the Bible.

An extraordinary quietness emanates from Reynek's works. Whether he is depicting a still life, a religious theme or nature, beauty and gentleness are always present.

His poems are meditative and inspired by the Bohemian landscape, rural life and Christian humanism.

Although active in the fields of graphics, poetry and translation, in Reynek's own words, graphics and poetry were for him "two different views of the same world".

9 am-5 pm, until May 14. National Art Museum of China, 1 Wusi Dajie, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6401-7076.


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