Most people associate this name with a cartoon joke. Although Jiří found himself in the book of records in 2001 (by 2001 he had been published 35,000 cartoons, the final number is of course higher), in reality it is just the imaginary tip of the iceberg.
The artist Jiří Winter had an incredibly wide range of activities. He started as an illustrator of professional science books (originally he wanted to be a naturalist, not an artist), later he illustrated several hundred entertaining and popular science books with his characteristic and unmistakable pictures. In addition, he was involved in theater and film production (costume design, scenes, scenery) - one of his most famous works in this area is, for example, Werich's Heavy Barbora and Donkey and Shadow. Jiří Winter's not only long-term collaboration with Jan Werich, but also a long-standing personal friendship, just like Jiří Trnka, with whom Jiří Winter collaborated in the field of animated film.
A separate chapter is his work for children. In addition to designs for board games and toys (among others, for example, the popular rocking horses and roosters, which have been produced unchanged for more than half a century, so it may be another entry in the record book). Jiří Winter also designed toys that no one associates him with. He was the author of several cult comics for children (and one of the pioneers of this type of art in our country), a tireless visitor to science circles, where he organized discussions with children and initiator (and later a member of juries) many science competitions and other activities in the field of knowledge and nature conservation. . Thanks to him, Dr. began to study science. Přemysl Rabas, the current director of the Dvůr Králové nad Labem ZOO and an active protector of nature and the environment, with whom Jiří became acquainted during one such competition. At that time, Přemysl Rabas was a fifteen-year-old boy in the field of electrician, for whom the meeting and later lifelong friendship with Jiří Winter was fatal.
Jiří's anthropological activity is also little known and at the same time extremely deserving, as anthropology (together with history, orientalism and natural science) was another field in which this Renaissance man had extraordinary knowledge, which he actively used in his work. The long-term collaboration with Professor Emanuel Vlček, our leading world-class anthropologist, resulted in a series of anthropological portraits of our historical figures (eg Charles IV), whose skeletal remains Professor Vlček examined. One of the most interesting works in this area is the portrait of Zdislava of Lemberk, which Jiří Winter created for Pope John Paul II. before the canonization, then "only" Blessed Zdislava.
In addition to this incredibly wide-ranging artistic activity, Jiří Winter was also an excellent orientalist and collector, whose collections were often borrowed by the National (or Náprstek's) Museum for exhibition.
He participated in the protection of nature and the environment not only through the education of the youngest generation, but also through his own active activities (among other things, he was the chairman of the Prague Association of Animal Defenders for several years).
I don't think it's easy to find a second person with such a wide scope who, in addition to the work, is well-known to almost everyone in this country and completely unmistakable, but also the spectrum of the work is well-known, it does not connect people in any way. In any case, Jiří Winter was one of the most prominent and publicly known artists of the twentieth century. In addition, his artistic work in the field of caricature has one peculiarity, completely unique in the world in the field of caricature and cartoon humor, namely absolute scientific and historical accuracy. If Jiří Winter drew an animal or a plant, their depiction exactly corresponds to reality down to the smallest detail. The same is true of depicting historical realities. The encyclopaedic knowledge used in art was characteristic of Jiří Winter and earned him the nickname "Walking Scientific Dictionary" among his friends.
The previous totalitarian regime awarded Jiří the title of Merited Artist, while at the same time, paradoxically, he made his life very miserable. No wonder the Black Barons Jiří Winter and Miloslav Švandrlík's comrades have never been able to forgive. And a man who was part of the anti-Nazi resistance during World War II. World War II was already in principle suspicious of further totalitarianism.
Sincerely, Daniela Winterová