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camera 15 017Vladimir Uher is a major figure in Czech photography, an interesting interview can be read here. Mr. Uher’s photographs document his interest in architecture throughout his career.

If you have read any Czech literature especially Kafka you will immediately feel at home with these wonderful pictures.

camera 15 021camera 15 020Yes, the book is about Baroque Architecture, but it is also about much much more. It is about mathematical order, reflection and absorbing light on buildings and about looking upward towards something bigger or greater than “self”.camera 15 023camera 15 025camera 15 024A true dialogue of forms, one that does not tire the eye, but makes you want to walk around and look for more.,The wonderfully produced book is probably one of the best books ever made about “Baroque” architecture. The wonderful deep black printing promotes contrast.

In the photographer’s own words quoted from Radio Prague is the following:

“Yes, of course, I have taken many photos of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, but there’s only one style I love ardently, and that’s the Baroque. I have no system for selecting what I will take pictures of, I simply go, look around and when something excites me, I cannot walk away without photographing it. I always rely on my feelings – all in all I think it’s an emotional reaction, visually-emotional, not intellectual.”

camera 15 026camera 15 027This amazing photographer who worked for ten years as a press photographer claims by his own admission never to have taken color photographs but worked exclusively in black and white.

camera 15 031camera 15 029Architecture was not always his topic of  first choice.

“I used to photograph so-called “forma viva”, or living forms, and what I was really curious to learn was how shapes come into existence. Thus I’ve experienced a lot of God’s work, because each shape must have a certain sense, function and task. But, unfortunately, I have never understood what kind of order there exists in the nature, but as concerns architecture, it suddenly occurred to me that it was perfectly clear. The composition principles are pretty obvious to me there.” 

Another important book Vladimir Uher collaborated on is The Prague Ghetto / Milada Vilímkova ; (translated by Iris Urwin ; photographs by Pavel Stecha, Vladimir Uher, and Miroslav Fokt).ISBN 8085277832.

About the origins of the ghetto in Prague we would refer you to this article.

Czech Baroque Architecture is among the finest of the baroque architectural styles to be found in Europe. Good examples can be found throughout the Czech Republic, this book contributes to our knowledge of the classical orders of architecture, which cannot only be found in classic text on the great Italian architects/builders such as Palladio, Serlio, Scamozzi, Vignola, but must it be experienced by observing first hand in their intended surroundings and settings or second best by looking at some very good photography such as found in this book.

An excellent description of the buildings, builders and history is found at the back of the book. In the end the relationship between form, materials, craftsmanship and the vision of a new town in the center of cultural and political enlightenment merges into one.