Vojtěch Chytil (1896-1936) and Bedřich Feuerstein (1892-1936), Czechoslovak artists and intellectuals, were both involved with a large group of enthusiasts in the study of things Chinese and Japanese in the period before the Second World War. This network was instrumental in creating and nurturing an inspiring environment for debate on traditional and contemporary Asian art and its collecting. While Feuerstein was an architect by profession, Chytil was trained as a painter but became more widely known as a collector and promoter of Chinese art; his collecting activity was most recently discussed in the catalogue on modern Chinese painting published by the National Gallery in Prague. This article will introduce their achievements, and especially those of Chytil in the context of his activities not only in Asia and Czechoslovakia, but also in Britain. The main text will be followed by translations of recently discovered letters which provide new information and shed fresh light on the history of collecting of Chinese art in Europe in the 1930s.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts