Jaromír Funke (1896 Skuteč – 1945 Prague)
A Composition - Glass and a Sphere (Still-life with a Ball), 1923
black and white photograph, 143×216 mm, Olomouc Museum of Art, inv. no. F 4060
Jaromír Funke is rightly considered to be one of the pioneers of modern European photography. During the 1920s, Funke (with Jaroslav Rössler) took part in the development of modern Czech photography, not only through his art work, but also his theoretical studies and articles. He was also an active pedagogue. "He was a typical versatile intellectual of his time, an avant-gardist, who always wanted to beat his contemporaries, albeit by a little notch." (Antonín Dufek) The experimental line of his work mainly developed the topic of still-life. He made still-lifes from geometric elements (balls, prisms, glass surfaces, bottles) in simple and well-arranged compositions. His work is a synthesis of purist thinking, constructivist rationality, and also poetic and surreal playfulness. He died needlessly during an air-strike on Prague when he was not treated for his injuries quickly enough.