Frantisek Michl ( November 20, 1901 in Domazlice - June 4, 1977 in Domazlice) painter and graphic artist
As the only son, he was destined to pursue a business career. However, his interest went in other ways and was divided between painting and sports. Michl raced for Domazlice "Snehare", later for Slavia Prague in various disciplines: running, skiing, horseback riding, jumping high, was a pioneer of motorcycle sports, fencing. However, his main passion was painting, so he left the business school in Pilsen and in 1925 passed the exam at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. At that time, Otakar Nejedly was appointed the new professor of the academy and founded a landscape specialty.
After graduating in 1928, Michl lived in Domazlice, where he painted his native Chodsko and Sumava and liked to visit Vysocina for motifs. Between 1928 and 1938, most of his graphic sheets, ex-libris and illustrations were created. He illustrated and graphically edited over thirty books. He designed badges and emblems of several sports clubs, and in 1923 a design for a three-dimensional emblem of the Skoda Races in Pilsen came out of his studio.
Painters Moravec, Sebek and classmates from the academy, sculptors Svec, Langenberger and Bretschneider, musicians J. Zich and J. Jindrich, writer J. Vrba meet and create in Michl's Domazlice studio. He received the award of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts three times. He travels in Slovakia, the Alps, Styria, Italy, France, Bulgaria and North Africa on his travels for motifs for his paintings.
Since 1929 he has been collaborating with the historian Dr. Fr. Gag on his book "History of the Chod u Domazlice", which was published in 1931. After the capture of the Sudetenland in 1938, the Germans jointly prepared the publication "Chodske vesnice", which was published during the occupation in 1939, as an act of silent defiance.
Michl is also one of the main organizers of the famous Vavřinecká pilgrimage in August 1939 (together with Dr. Kalandra, writer Vrba and editor Prach), which was attended by over a hundred thousand people and which was the largest demonstration of resistance to fascist will. This was the reason for his arrest and imprisonment in Pankrác, in the Terezin and Flossenbürg After liberation, he continues his work. He was appointed cultural patron of the Domazlice district (until 1950). In 1945 he was also nominated as a professor at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. However, he does not accept the professorship; he did not want to leave Chodsko and Sumava - a source of inspiration for his paintings. He is a member of the Association of Fine Artists, the Association of West Bohemian Fine Artists in Pilsen and in 1947 the chairman of the Association of Pošumava Fine Artists in Klatovy.
In 1946, Michl bought a villa in Kolinec near Susice and set up a summer studio there. During the fifties and sixties, he taught several painting courses for amateurs here and elsewhere.
In 1958, three of his paintings represent our art at the World's Fair in Brussels. However, the growing demand for Michl's paintings and publicity in our country and abroad bothers some institutions in the West Bohemian Region, and Michl was arrested in 1961 and sentenced to one year in prison unconditionally for subverting the republic on the basis of a staged and legally unsubstantiated trial. After six months, he was released on the basis of a presidential amnesty, but he and his whole family were persecuted, the ban on exhibiting works outside the region of the West Bohemian Region and the removal from the Union of Fine Artists persists.
The improvement of the political situation in 1967 makes Michl's work meaningful again. He organizes several domestic exhibitions, sells abroad via Artia. In March 1968 he exhibited in Montreal, in November the Rullos Gallery in New York ordered 165 canvases. It was also an exhibition at the Royal Gallery in London.
In 1971, with the onset of normalization, the 1969 rehabilitation was abolished and the 1961 judgment came into force again. Michel's name is again on the black list. This is followed by a total ban on public exhibitions and all publicity. Only a few of his friends and admirers of his work from Karlovy Vary organized about three more exhibitions. This injustice was too much for Michl's very tenacious organism. In 1972, he suffered a stroke, but he continued to paint with his paralyzed left half of his body, and on June 4, 1977, he died.
In 1991, Frantisek Michl was fully civic rehabilitated.