Josef Sudek

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sudek in Prague, 1958 (Photo: Miloň Novotný )

Josef Sudek (born March 17, 1896 in Kolín , Austria-Hungary ; died September 15, 1976 in Prague ) was a Czech photographer .


From 1911 to 1913 he did a bookbinding apprenticeship in Prague . At the same time he started taking pictures with an Ica, a 6 × 9 cm camera. In 1913 he bought a VEA 9 × 12cm camera with an Extra Rapid Aplanat 1: 7.7 / 135mm. In 1913 he started working for a bookbinder in Nymburk , but was drafted into the military in 1915. From 1915 to 1917 he took photos with a 4.5 × 6 cm folding camera with a Steinheil Unifocal lens. In 1947 he acquired a camera for the format 30 × 40 cm and a Kodak panorama camera 10 × 30 cm from 1894.


Many of Josef Sudek's works show Czech landscapes, cityscapes and still lifes, but also the lives of his fellow citizens. For example, they show:

  • Landscapes around Kolin before the First World War,
  • Wounded in the hospital during the First World War; (Sudek himself was wounded in this war and lost an arm),
  • the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague,
  • his little garden in the Prague of the Second World War,
  • Landscapes and cities after World War II.

What is striking about Sudek's work is the variety. Significant art-historical developments in photography are reflected in his work. In addition to impressionistic motifs, Sudek also made references to the New Objectivity and Surrealism. The general art-historical location is therefore unclear. In his essay Sudek the Outsider , published in 2012, Antonín Dufek attempted to counter the often categorized as romanticists with a more complex image of the photographer. Sudek oriented himself accordingly to different photographic trends and above all to models. In contrast, a romantic trait can be seen in this versatility.

Sudek was particularly interested in a professional and technically and artistically superior way of working. The majority of his recordings were made with large-format cameras, which enabled him to forego enlargements , i.e. to make a contact sheet.


Memorial plaque for Josef Sudek

The asteroid (4176) Sudek , discovered on February 24, 1987, has been named after him since 1998.


  • Howard Greenberg / Annette Kicken / Rudolf Kicken (Eds.): Czech Vision. Avantgarde Photography in Czechoslovakia. Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2007, ISBN 978-3-7757-2030-4 .
  • Timm Rautert: Josef Sudek, Prague 1967. Steidl, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-86521-712-7 .
  • Josef Sudek , editor and publisher: Edition Lichttropfen, Aachen 1976, DNB 780575091
  • Maia-Mari Sutnik (editor): Josef Sudek: The Legacy of a Deeper Vision. Munich 2012. ISBN 978-3-7774-5291-3

Web links

Commons : Josef Sudek  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Biography of Josef Sudek at RoGallery
  2. Maia-Mari Sutnik (Ed.): Josef Sudek: The Legacy of a Deeper Vision. Munich 2012. pp. 241–248
  4. Minor Planet Circ. 31295