František Bílek (1872 – 1941)

František Bílek, born in Chýnov near the lovely town of Tábor was a Czech architect and an Art Nouveau and Symbolist sculptor. František Bílek started studying at the AVU in Prague (Academy of Fine Arts - Akademie výtvarných umění) but due to his color blindness he began to study sculpture under Josef Mauder in 1888 after which he spent a year in Paris at the Académie Colarossi thanks to a scholarship from his patron Vojtěch Lanna. After studying in Paris he returned to Prague and eventually to his hometown. From 1898 to 1912 Bílek was a member of the Mánes Union of Fine Arts alongside artists such as Mikoláš Aleš, Josef Čapek, Josef Chochol, Emil Filla, Josef Gočár, Otto Gutfreund, Otakar Novotný and Max Švabinský. František Bílek designed and built his own villa, located in the castle district that at his request be turned into a museum of his works after his passing. Bílek’s villa has recently been renovated and is again open to the public.

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