Major Figures in the Field of Bohemian Crystal
Alexander Pfohl Jr. (1894-1953)
The most famous member of an important glassmaking family that contributed to the development of glassmaking in Bohemia. Pfohl focused on the technique of high enamel and became a renowned glass painter of the Art Deco period.
Alois Metelák (1897-1980)
An important Czech architect, painter, glass artist and designer. His work is characterized by restraint, simplicity and the temperate use of colors. He is one of the key leaders of functionalism within Czech glassmaking.
Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939)
A Czech painter and designer, Mucha was one of the most significant artists of the Art Nouveau period and one of the most renowned Czech artists abroad. He designed a stained-glass window for the New Archbishop’s Chapel of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.
Caspar Lehmann (1563-1622)
The first and most famous cutter of Bohemian crystal. In 1588 Lehmann was invited to the court of Rudolph II as a successful cutter of precious and semi-precious stones. He improved the technique of decorating glass using rotating copper wheels and contributed to its spread in the Czech lands and abroad. He founded a successful workshop in Prague, the products of which became incomparable and, in particular, impossible to imitate.
Charles IV (1316-1378)
The most famous Czech king during whose reign the Czech lands became the trade and cultural center of Europe. He contributed to the expansion of Czech glassmaking through his substantial support of manufacturing and trade. A major boom of glassmaking took place during his reign, first appearing at the courts and also later among townsmen.
Dominik Biemann (1800-1858)
Perhaps the most famous glass engraver of the nineteenth century. Biemann is often referred to as the first portrait artist of the Biedermeier style. He engraved portraits onto glass, first upon the wishes of spa visitors for whom he worker, later making his way to becoming an engraver at the royal courts. His works remain highly valued among collectors.
Friedrich Egermann (1777–1864),
A technologist, an experimenter, as well as a premier glass salesman. He is attributed with the discovery of red and yellow glaze. Glazing is a glassmaking technique with a long tradition in Czech glassmaking, however, he brought it to perfection. He produced glass commercially in his glassworks using this technique and achieving world renown.
Georg Franz Kreybich (1662-1736)
One of the most successful glass tradesmen in the entire Czech history. During his career he traveled to most countries across Europe and spread the fame of Bohemian crystal abroad. Because he was also an engraver, he decorated glass for clients ‘on the spot.’
Josef Drahoňovský (1877-1938)
A sculptor and a glyptic artist, one of the most significant artists of the first half of the twentieth century. As a glass engraver, he is recognized as one of the founders of modern glassmaking in Bohemia.
Ladislav Sutnar (1897-1976)
Sutnar was perhaps the most versatile graphic and industrial designer in the era of the First Republic, as well as across Czech history. Aside from typography, book design, marionettes and furniture, Sutnar also designed glass. His works are in-demand and remain highly valued collectibles.
Rudolph II (1552-1612)
A Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph played a significant role in the development of Czech glassmaking. As an art aficionado, he invited many artists to his court at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. These artists contributed significantly to the already existing Czech glassmaking traditions. King Rudolph also raised many glassmakers to the Aristocracy.
Stanislav Libenský (1921-2000)
One of the most recognized Czech glass artists worldwide. Libenský achieved renown with his artistic experiments with cased glass and, in particular, modern glass sculptures. Throughout his career he collaborated with his wife Jaroslava Brychtová.