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Josef Sudek Edit Profile


Josef Sudek is frequently referred to as ‘The Poet of Prague’ thanks to the thousands of lyrical photographs he took of the Czech city, proving it to be one of the most enchanting European capitals.


Josef Sudek was born in 1896 in Kolín, Czechoslovakia.


He studied photography at the School of Graphic Art in Prague (1922-23).


After being apprenticed to a bookbinder (1911-13) Sudek was inducted into the army (1915). While at the Italian front he was seriously injured and later suffered the loss of his right arm. Because of this handicap he could no longer be a bookbinder, so he turned to photography. He was awarded the Order of Work by the Czech government in 1966 and received the title Artist of Merit in 1961, the first photographer so honored by the Czech government.

Known for lyrical images that show a fine eye for life's intimate details, Sudek once explained that "everything around us, dead or alive, in the eyes of a crazy photographer mysteriously takes on many variations, so that a seemingly dead object comes to life through light or by its surroundings. ... To capture some of this - I suppose that's lyricism."


  • PUBLICATIONS Monographs: Sudek, Sonja Bullaty, 1978; Janacek-Hukvaldy, 1971 (Supraphon: Czechoslovakia); A Musical Education, Alojz Suchanek, 1970 (Statni Pedagogicke Nakladatelstvi: Czechoslovakia); Sudek, Jan Rezac, 1964.


In 1920 Sudek joined the Club for Amateur Photographers in Prague.


  • Other Interests

    A lifelong passion for music also influenced his life and work.


Professor Karel Novak

Josef Sudek studied photography at the School of Graphic Art in Prague with Professor Karel Novak.

with Jaromire Funke

In 1924, with Jaromire Funke and other avant-garde photographers, Josef Sudek founded the Czech Photographic Society.