In Czech art, the practice of mental or moody landscape painting initially found its application mainly in traditional painting and drawing genres. Oil, sketch, or watercolor allowed the artist to respond more spontaneously to mental stimuli. The transition to graphic techniques, which were not commonly taught at universities and mostly underestimated, was just beginning. Kobliha’s series, inspired by Karel Hynek Mácha’s poetry, was created later, and its immediacy gave way to a sophisticated imaginary composition. In the series, more legible figurative motifs are integrated into a unified landscape alongside natural elements. This approach recalls the feeling of dissolving into a mesmerizing infinity of nature, as expressed, for example, in Baudelaire’s poem “The Confiteor of the Artist.”

Despite the usual expressiveness of the woodcut technique, Kobliha’s dreamscapes primarily obscure the depicted weight: the boundary between the earthly and the celestial disappears, mountain and forest panoramas meld with clouds, cliffs dissolve into waves, and water surfaces solidify into ice sheets or dry up. This unsettling indeterminacy evokes the intimate origins of these scenes, and at the same time the artist captures the tension between reality and dream—the world seen and created. This characteristic aligns with K. H. Mácha, who fashioned his own unreal environments from what he observed in his drawings.

Subject: Others
Author: Kobliha, František
Title: May
Date: 1910 - 1911
Technique: woodcut
Dimensions: 29.5 × 23.7 cm
Origin: Karásek Gallery Collection
Licence: Free license

Other exhibits from the chapter

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