Jaroslav Bejvl

Jaroslav Bejvl 

(13. 4. 1941) The artist Jaroslav Bejvl first became famous as a glass designer and an expert on lighting. He has designed lights which illuminate for instance Ritz Carlton hotels in Philadelphia, Hong-Kong or Beijing. For Swissotel in Moscow he designed a glass mosaic made of etched glass of one hundred and sixty square metres in size. He worked as a lighting expert in Minsk, Tehran and Tunis and other world cities. His name has become famous not only in Europe and Asia but also across the Atlantic. In 1981 he started designing coins and commemorative medals which represent a significant part of his creative work. He was successful in a whole range of competitions which were announced by the Czech National Bank, the Prague Mint and also by other customers. He has prepared around three hundred and fifty designs of which roughly sixty have been produced. He produced his first minted medal in 1987 when he won over the competition of forty other artists with a motive on the centenary of the birth of the Czech painter Josef Lada. He is also the author of the circulated Czech 20-heller which was in circulation until 2003. His last work was a medal dedicated to the famous St Vitus Cathedral in Prague which was minted by the Prague Mint in pure gold of 1,000 grams in weight. The artist has an exceptional sense for detail and fine drawing.

Jaroslav Bejvl was born in Šumava. As a soldier he was enlisted to the town of Česká Kamenice where he married and where he has been living ever since. He studied at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Prague, and he was given private lessons of bas-relief by professor Ladislav Havlas.

nterview:

How did you start designing coins and medals?
Once while I was still studying I read in the newspaper that the Czech National Bank announced a competition in designing a coin featuring Jan Neruda. I decided that I would try it and I asked for the conditions. Right at the beginning I received an exceptional remuneration which encouraged me to participate in other competitions, and then more work started coming. Do you keep records of how many designs you have made in total? Yes, I do. However, I do not have the exact number, but it is roughly three hundred and fifty designs. About sixty of which were produced, and the others always received some award or remuneration.

What gives you greater satisfaction?
Production of medals or work with light?

Work with lighting is practically my lifelong job and mission and I do it therefore with enthusiasm, I enjoy it. Coin and medal designs complement my work in designing, they are my second passion.

Which coin or medal gives you the greatest joy?
My first produced coin which was very popular among collectors, of course, pleased me most. Another one featuring the Břevnov Monastery was also successful. But every coin or medal which is successful and which gets produced makes me happy.

Your designs are known for their elaborate detail.
On which design did you spend probably the longest time?

The Saharna Monastery medal for the Moldavian Republic which I made six years ago is certainly worth mentioning. It was a very demanding work because the customer submitted drawing designs of its artists and it required that every detail had to be meticulously drawn. No deviation – not even the slightest one – was allowed. They certainly insisted on their design. For instance there were windows on the monastery which are almost invisible on the coin, but all of them had to be shown on the model.



Another artworks prepared by Jaroslav Bejvl

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