Vladimír Oppl

Vladimír Oppl

(19. 1. 1953)

The academic sculptor Vladimír Oppl is by right ranked among the most important Czech medal makers. His works include a whole range of produced designs of commemorative medals and coins. They include for instance also the currently circulated Czech twenty-crown coin. In 1999 the prestigious magazine World Coin News recognized his New Town of Prague coin from the Charles IV set as the Most Beautiful Gold Commemorative Coin in the World. The range of this versatile artist is, however, much wider. He is for instance the author of the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk which is awarded or granted by the Czech president to persons who have contributed to the advancement of democracy, humanity and human rights in an outstanding way. His produced designs also include a half-a-kilogram platinum medal, the biggest medal of its kind in the world, with the motive of the St Vitus Cathedral in Prague. He has created a whole series of excellent designs for the Prague Mint which are thematically focused on the most famous periods of Czech history. Vladimír Oppl taught at the College of Applied Arts in Prague for ten years, after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 he started to work independently, and at present he lives and works in the capital city of the Czech Republic. He regards photography as his greatest hobby.

Vladimír Oppl was born in Ústí nad Labem. He studied the Secondary Technical School of Ceramics in Bechyně, then the College of Applied Arts in Prague. He commenced his study under professor Jan Kavan, and after his departure he continued under professor Josef Malejovský.

INTERVIEW

You are the author of the New Town of Prague coin which was awarded the title of the Most Beautiful Gold Commemorative Coin in the World at the turn of the millennium. What did this honour mean to you?
It is, of course, pleasant when you are praised for your work, it certainly makes future work more enjoyable. However, I learnt of the award with some delay. It was a beautiful feeling but I do not overrate the event in any way.

Had you been interested in numismatics before you started winning competitions?
I used to collect coins because I inherited a collection from my grandfather who had been an active collector. In the end, however, I gave it up because it became nearly an obsession.

Coins and medals are mostly associated with history. Which period is closest to you?
For example, the period of the Jáchymov coinage is unique for me. I think these coinages are some of the best ones. And then, of course, it is antiquity which fascinates me. The visual expression was astonishing. Think of the portraits, the ancient artists did not seek to draw some things in detail, instead they used visual shorthand. But coins from other periods, the Renaissance, the Gothic art, are, of course, also beautiful, every style has its unique charm.

Which coin makes you most proud? Is it the already mentioned successful coin featuring the New Town of Prague?
It is not possible to say so easily, everyone likes something different. I consider some coins more interesting than the one of New Town of Prague. There are designs which I made in my youth and which are closer to me although they are simpler and in the end they have perhaps never been produced. There were times when I entered as many as twenty plaster models in competitions, at present I do not have so much time to improvise. Personally, I have a liking for a design of the Virgin based on a painting by Svolinský.

Your successes include also the production of presidential orders in competitions announced by the Prague Castle.
I produced all classes of the Order of Tomáš G. Masaryk, which was great for me because I entered a competition in which others had already been active and I became immediately successful.

Another artworks prepared by Vladimír Oppl

... SELECT idSupplier, details, sku, description, price, bToBPrice, stock FROM products,stock WHERE products.idstock = stock.idstock AND products.idproduct='5621'