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His works of art take various forms ranging from simple pen-and-ink sketches through washed ink to watercolours and oil paintings. All are composed with admirable elegance and charm while displaying the artist’s immense feeling for technical detail and proportion. It is no coincidence that his work has been called photorealistic.

In fact, the worldwide success of Mr. Zapadlík’s art stems from his rich expert knowledge and practical experience in designing car bodies. A few years ago, Mr. ­Zapadlík was asked by Czech Post to create several postage stamp designs.

Václav Zapadlík
painter

This was a challenge for me, as I had never done any postage stamps

“I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he recalls. “This was a challenge for me, as I had never done any postage stamps. So I started out enthusiastically with the first series of six stamps, where I rendered my favourite cars, including ­the Duesenberg SJ, Bugatti Royale 49, and Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A.” The stamps were put into circulation in September 2012. They were issued also in a so-called brochure edition entitled WORLD CARS which to this day is a much sought-after item among Czech and foreign philatelists.

The cooperation with Czech Post really started to bloom after that. “For 2013 I had an order for two vehicle-themed stamps and another series of automotive stamps which should focus on local production. I chose ŠKODA, if only to capture the majestic ŠKODA 860 and 645. And in addition, on the cover of the much-liked brochure edition, called CZECH CARS ŠKODA, I could depict other historic milestones from the Czech automobile factory – the Laurin & Klement Voiturette B, the ŠKODA 6R landaulet, and the Laurin & Klement ­ŠKODA 110 phaeton side by side.”

In 2014, Czech Post issued a second brochure dedicated to ­ŠKODA automobiles which included two stamps with the ŠKODA SUPERB 3000 and the ŠKODA POPULAR MONTE CARLO. This stamp issue was complemented with two first day covers bearing Mr. Zapadlík’s impressive pen drawings and artistically interesting rubber stamp impressions.

Two years ago, Mr. Zapadlík provided the art for a third series of stamps featuring ŠKODA vehicles. This time, he focused on its post-war production, specifically the 1947 ŠKODA RAPID 1500 and 1955 ŠKODA 1201. The central motif of the brochure version’s cover was the 1949 SUPERB.

To date, Mr. Zapadlík has created more than 20 postage stamp and postcard designs for Czech Post. Let us hope he will continue in this creative work. We can very well imagine postage stamps with the SPARTAK, ­FELICIA, and OCTAVIA models from the 1950s.