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Michal Vitanovský

Michal Vitanovský

(3. 5. 1946)

Michal Vitanovský ranks among the most significant and at the same time the most often employed authors of Czech commemorative medals and coins. He has produced over one hundred minted works. Together with seven hundred cast artefacts he has produced a work of a remarkable scope. Since the 1990s he has been also working on the production of insignia: mayor’s, dean’s or chancellor’s chains, keys to the city, etc. He is the author of the highest state order of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion. Until 2004 he regularly exhibited his work at the exhibitions of the International Art Medal Federation (FIDEM). Michal Vitanovský is not only an important sculptor and medal designer, but also an author of professional texts, disputations and essays. He founded the irregularly published AUM periodical (a magazine of the Association of Medal Artists) which he issued it for several years as the editor-in-chief and owner and to which he contributed witty observations. His articles also regularly appear in the Czech numismatic magazine Mince a bankovky (Coins and Banknotes). Vitanovský’s favourite hobbies include the study of history and heraldry in which he has been interested since his youth.

Michal Vitanovský was born in Klatovy. He studied the Secondary Technical School of Fine Arts in Prague, then he enrolled at the College of Applied Arts in Prague in the studio of professor Jan Kavan. The artist now lives and works in Prague.



You are the author of the most important Czech state order, the Order of the White Lion. When you were designing it, you were bound by strictly defined parameters with which you had to comply …
That is true. It is a relatively conservative discipline. If the limits are strictly defined, I try to stretch them as far as possible while staying within the rules and to put my own creativity within the restricted space. I would be bored if I had to keep too much within these tight limits. The Order of the White Lion is moreover a collection of several models: the jewel, the star and the chain, therefore you could find some free space in each one of them.

History is your great source of inspiration. Which period is the closest to you?
It is a good question. For about a half of my life I preferred the Middle Ages but in the last ten years I have focused on the Renaissance and the Baroque. Therefore the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Yes, history is important for me. I will also add that I am a conservative and I find it more interesting to study the seventeenth century in an archive than to read today’s newspaper. However, people are, of course, very similar, I do not want to pretend that the politicians were better then.

You have made many diverse medal designs, is there any curio among them?
It is a medal which was produced by my friend Anselm Roskovec, who teaches engraving of coin dies at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Jablonec nad Nisou. He kept urging me for a long time to make the coat of arms of the House of Vitanovský. As he kept urging me, I thought I would do it and I would see how he could handle it. And the way he produced the design is really a technical masterpiece. It is a bimetallic medal, in which he had to insert a complex-shaped semi-finished product made of one metal into another metal. My colleague assured me that he had coined only a single piece in this form. The other medals are of a classical coinage.

The medal reads: Vitanovský of Vlčkovice. Is it a coat of arms of your ancestors?
In order to relax I sometimes study genealogy in the archives and I found that it was a family of lower nobility. The first written records mentioning it date back to the mid-fifteenth century. I do not have any proof of a direct lineage but some circumstantial evidence suggests it, therefore I say that there is a 70% probability.

Another artworks prepared by Michal VitanovskÝ

PRAŽSKÁ MINCOVNA . PRAŽSKÁ MINCOVŇA . PRAGUE MINT . PRAG MÜNZE . CASA DE MONEDA . MONNAIE DE PRAGUE . ZECCA DI PRAGA . CASA DA MOEDA PRAGA . MENNICA PRAGA . PRASKA KOVNICA . NANE PRAG . Пражский монетный двор . Монетный двор Праге . ковница Праг . MYNTE PRAG . MUNT PRAAG . PUDINA PRAGUE . RAHAPAJA PRAHA . Mėtų Praha . Mant Prag . Monetărie Praga . Menta Prága . Nenexhik Pragë . Piparmünt Praha . Bạc Hà Praha . μέντα Πράγα . מטבעות מכון פראג . 造币钱 . सिक्का प्राग . ミント プラハ . 박하 프라하 . پراگ . نعناع . โรงกระษาปณ์ ปราก .  پودینہپراگ . პრაღაში ზარაფხანა .

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