Michal Vitanovský
Michal Vitanovský, academic sculptor
born 3rd May 1946 in Klatovy, Czech Republic
1961–1965 Special Secondary School of Arts in Prague
1965–1971 Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, Studio of Sculpture – professor Jan Kavan
After finishing his studies, has mainly been concerned with unconfined medal and sculpture art works. He has recorded important personalities of both the Czech and world history (F. Villon, G. Boccaccio, Henry de Navigator, G. Casanova, A. Einstein, A. de Saint-Exupéry, F. G. Lorca, I. Babel, Albrecht of Waldstein, K. and J. Čapek), he brought out the problem of human co-existence with nature and also with other people (There is no life without water, Smog, Decibels). A woman has always been an important source of inspiration to him, either her physical changes, or her internal life (In front of the curtain, Three dancers, The birth of a daughter, Desire). The artist has always been interested in the Czech history. He has created several dozens of plaquettes and medals representing historical events and their participants, especially from the Middle Ages (Prince Bořivoj I, The Prague Castle foundation, Ecce Rex, King John of Luxembourg, The Battle of Crécy, The Emperor Charles IV, The Charles University, Jan Hus). Besides free-form cast medals, we can also find minted medals in the work of Michal Vitanovský since 1980s (Saint Wenceslas, The Emperor Rudolph II, E. Burke, G, Mahler, A. Dvořák, L. Janáček, Rotary Prague, T. Baťa, The 50th anniversary of World War II termination, J. Palach, Municipal House of Prague, F. Kafka, B. Hrabal, The Czech Bishop Conference). He has created more than one hundred of those minted medals, and together with more than seven hundreds of cast medals it represents a large medal production. The artist is also concerned with creation of coins. He takes part in the traditional public competitions enunciated by the National Bank of the Czech Republic (former State Bank of Czechoslovakia) for the best design of memorial coins. Six of his proposals had succeeded in these competitions and were realized in silver or gold (50 CZK Saint Agnes of Bohemia – reverse, 1990, 500 CZK J. A. Comenius, 1992, 5000 CZK The Charles University, 1998, 2000 CZK The Vyšší Brod Monastery, 2001, 200 CZK Saint Zdislava, 2002, 200 CZK King Jiří (George) of Poděbrady, 2002). In 1990s, the artist entered another branch – insignia. He is the author of mayor’s chains and municipal keys of three cities and chancellor’s or dean’s chains and sceptres of four universities. He won the first price in the competition for the Czechoslovakian Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order in 1990, and for the Czech Order of the White Lion, which is the highest state badge of honour, in 1994. They both had been realized, the Masaryk Order was being conferred until 1993, and the Order of the White Lion has still been conferred up to the present day. This branch also includes the four departmental badges of honour created for the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. The sculptural work of Michal Vitanovský is presented not only by free-form sculptures, memorial boards, and applies sculptures, but also by the realized above life-sized sculptural group “Peasant Rebellion 1775” in the Konopiště Castle premises, the sculpture of Saint Vojtěch (Adalbert) in Libice nad Cidlinou, the portrait bust of the Czech King Wenceslas II in Kutná Hora and many others.