Academic sculptor Michal Vitanovský
How did you get to designing coins and medals?
I started taking part in coin design competitions during my studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague between 1965 and 1971. And, one of the tasks we had in the studio at that time was to create a locket with embossed portrait.
Do you remember your first design for Czech Mint?
I don’t, but my list of models says it was a gold medal “Sv. Zdislava z Lemberka“ (Saint Zdislava of Lemberk) in 2001.
Do you know how many designs you created during your career?
Since 1968 it’s about 1,250 models for coins and medals – counting both minted and cast.
Which work for Czech Mint pleased you most, which do you like best to remember?
I have had the luck to work on nice projects and it’s difficult to choose one of them. From recent years it may most likely be “Doba Rudolfa II.“ (The Period of Rudolph II) of 2009 and “Rožmberkové“ (The Rosenbergs) of 2011.
What themes do you prefer?
I like historical themes.
Where do you find inspiration for your works and where do you create them?
In case of historical topics, the author benefits from the knowledge of context, in other words of historical references and knowledge of life and customs of the specific period, such as architecture, clothing, arms etc. Of course a certain space must also be left for imagination.
Do you have a secret dream, is there something you would like to achieve and what would you describe as the peak in a medallist’s career?
Most of my theme-related dreams have materialized although there are a few topics I would still like to do. For example Edward Kelly, John Dee and other alchemists in our history who also had a relation to precious metals, the same as mints and medallists. Both lay and professional public have already elevated me to the peak of my career by awarding me The Order of the White Lion. Whatever I do next, it will remain this way.