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Josef Lada
Josef Lada, 1940
Josef Lada, 1940
Born (1887-12-17)17 December 1887
Hrusice, Kingdom of Bohemia
Died 14 December 1957(1957-12-14) (aged 69)
Occupation Illustrator, Writer
Josef Lada signatura.jpg
Hrusice CZ Josef Lada bust 323
Bust of Josef Lada in Hrusice

Josef Lada (born 17 December 1887 in Hrusice, Bohemia – 14 December 1957 in Prague, buried at Olšany Cemetery) was a Czech painter, illustrator and writer. He is best known as the illustrator of Jaroslav Hašek's World War I novel The Good Soldier Švejk, having won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1963.

The asteroid 17625 Joseflada has been named after him.


Born in the small village of Hrusice in a cobbler's family, he went to Prague at the age of 14 to become an apprentice binder. Entirely self-taught, he created his own style as a caricaturist for newspapers, and later as an illustrator. He produced landscapes, created frescoes and designed costumes for plays and films. Over the years he created a series of paintings and drawings depicting traditional Czech occupations, and wrote and illustrated the adventures of Mikeš, a little black cat who could talk.

Lada produced nearly 600 cartoons of the Švejk characters, depicting Austria-Hungary officers and civil servants as incompetent, abusive and often drunk. All subsequent editions of Švejk used Lada's illustrations, except for the 2008/2009 Czech edition illustrated by Petr Urban.

Books in English translation

As Illustrator


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