Vaclav Oliva Biography

a.k.a.  Viktor Oliva

Oliva was a painter and illustrator who studied art in Prague, Munich and briefly Paris. He lived in Prague where he was primarily involved with illustrating books for four of the biggest Czech publishing houses. He also did illustrations for magazines, and was the Art Director of "Zlata Praha" magazine from 1899-1916. Oliva was one of the earliest Czech poster artists; his first poster dates to 1893. This image advertises an exhibition at the Topic Salon, one of Prague's preeminent art galleries. Oliva designed two posters for the space, the first in 1895 and then again in 1896. Here, very much in the style of a charming Cherette, he depicts a young woman holding a palette. On other examples of this poster, the blank area within the palette was used to advertise specific shows at the gallery. Reims 1416, Sponsel p. 286, Kroutvor p. 16, Affiches Etrangeres p. 85.