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HISTORY TALKS...

Janko Alexy

PAINTER Janko Alexy was one of the most important Slovak artists of the 20th century. His work was inspired by his travels around Slovakia, and some of his drawings were featured on postcards, several of which have already been published in this column. This postcard from 1923, featuring one of Alexy’s drawings, depicts two wood cabins in Tvrdošín, a town located along the Orava River in northern Slovakia.

PAINTER Janko Alexy was one of the most important Slovak artists of the 20th century. His work was inspired by his travels around Slovakia, and some of his drawings were featured on postcards, several of which have already been published in this column. This postcard from 1923, featuring one of Alexy’s drawings, depicts two wood cabins in Tvrdošín, a town located along the Orava River in northern Slovakia.

Between 1932 and 1937, Alexy lived in Piešťany, where he attempted to organise an artists’ colony and attract the most renowned visual artists of his time. Unfortunately, this project never came to fruition.

Later he lived in Bratislava where he played a vital role in the local cultural and artistic scene. Alexy, along with other artists, was instrumental in convincing the state to save and reconstruct Bratislava’s castle.

The castle had been in ruins for over a century after a fire in 1811 reduced much of it to rubble, and with people plucking stones from the ruins for their own constructions, it was threatened with irreversible damage. Thanks to the efforts of Alexy and others, the state agreed to reconstruct the castle in 1955. Alexy deserves further credit for managing to persuade the rigid communist regime to shelve its plans to replace the castle with a modern university complex.

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