Josef Váchal



Váchal published the book Satanu in an edition of 17 copies, this is a highly dramatic work illustrating the eponymous poem by Carducci (1835-1907), noted poet, historian and politician.

SATANU is a magnificent work in large format (59 x 34 cm) with 11 full-page hand-colored woodcuts and 3 smaller linocuts, also in color. Váchal made the paper by hand, created the 1000 printed characters of his own making, and printed it in his studio in the Prague district of Vršovice.  The book is signed in the colophon and numbered by three thumbprints and four fingerprints, making this the seventh copy.

Váchal presents us with a series of visual meditations that are some of his strongest, including an abstraction with alchemical symbols and possibly one of the most remarkable busts of the Lord of Darkness in the frontispiece. The artist was a lover of fine literature and poetry, and Carducci provides ample catalytic power in his strong declaration of free thought and personal autonomy for the individual.

This book was published in the period of what could be considered the zenith of Váchal’s output (1918-1933) and is one of his undisputed masterworks.  

Pictures from exhibition

Panorama view