In memoriam Josef Liesler


by Josef Burch, President of FISAE


The Czech painter and graphic artist Josef Liesler (19.09.1912 Vidolice – 23.08.2005 Prague) died last week. He would have been 93 in a couple of weeks’ time.

Liesler was without doubt an extraordinarily polyvalent artist. Apart from paintings and watercolours of all sizes, he was prolific in the field of graphics and was commissioned to do many postage stamps. But he was also an important sculptor, considering his plastic work a natural projection of his painting. Beyond this, he was also the author of many serialised stories, and of numerous essays and poems. In recognition of his accomplishments and as a sign of international recognition, Liesler was elected to the Academy of Milano and to the Royal Academy of Belgium. He studied architecture at the Academy for Architecture of Prague from 1934 to 1938 and later taught there with great success.

In graphics, Liesler’s style evolved with time from mainly monochrome etchings to colour lithographies, with a very personal and recognisable palette which gave his prints an unmistakable freshness and life. He pursued his creative work tirelessly until his death, bringing great joy to his many admirers. His pleasingly coloured bookplates have made him unforgettable to ex-libris collectors, worldwide.

We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Josef Liesler’s family, and to the Association of Czech Ex-libris Friends (SSPE).


(Based on an article by Dr. O. Premstaller on the opening of an exhibition of Liesler’s works in the Bartlhaus Museum of calligraphy, 2002)


    In the unlikely case that you do not remember Liesler's ex-libris, a couple of examples can be found at this page