(1852 - 1913)
The painter, illustrator and graphic designer Mikoláš Aleš is one of the most important personalities of the National Theatre generation. He studied at the Academy in Prague under Jan Swerts and Josef Matyáš Trenkwald. Alš's realization at the National Theatre is very valuable, where in 1879 he participated in a competition for the decoration of the foyer alongside František Ženíšek. Aleš executed a total of four wall panels (Life, Myth, History, National Singing and Music) and fourteen lunettes. The theme of the lunettes itself came directly from Ales, Ženíšek was only to help with the transfer of the drawings to the actual scale. However, the jury of the National Theatre gradually began to have reservations about Alš's colouring of the lunettes and decided to entrust the task to Ženíšek and several other painters. Alš was somewhat affected by the whole situation and from then on, instead of painting, he began to devote himself mainly to drawing. Alš's illustrations of Jirásek's Old Czech Tales are the most valuable in the field of illustration. Aleš also drew for many magazines, reading books and calendars of the time.