The Czech painter František Kupka (1871-1957) is best remembered for his abstract Modernist works. But at the turn of the twentieth century he was the author of a series of striking Symbolist paintings that show his talent for representational art.
Kupka began his training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he studied between 1889 and 1892. Thereafter, in rapid succession, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the Académie Julian in Paris, and the atelier of Jean-Pierre Laurens at the École des Beaux-Arts.
He had a lifelong interest in esotericism that influenced both his representational and abstract periods. Tessel M. Bauduin writes of “his personal mystical world view,” his experience as a spiritualist medium, and his visions that “resonated with Theosophical theories of astral vision and the astral world.”