Obelisk Art History
The Artists

Wenzel Hablik
Architect of invisible cities

Wenzel Hablik, The Artists
Portrait of Wenzel Hablik

When he was 6, Wenzel Hablik stared deep into a crystal he’d discovered in his hometown of Brüx. Inside, he saw “magical castles and mountains” that would haunt the artwork, architecture, and design of this polymath Czech artist for the rest of his life.

Raised in his fathers cabinetry shop, young Wenzel became a carpenter by age 12—the beginning of an unrelentingly creative life. After his apprenticeship Wenzel painted porcelain, worked as a draftsman for an architect, and studied painting at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule and the Prague Academy of Arts. At age 25, Wenzel made a solo ascent of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Ascending through the clouds toward the glittering peak was an experience that would shape his 1909 collection Creative Forces, a folio of twenty etchings detailing crystalline structures perched in the snowy heights of the Alps.

The heavenly crystalline would haunt Hablik’s work, appearing in paintings, drawings, and more subtly in his interior design work. In 1907 Hablik met Richard Biel, a timber merchant who became his mentor and patron. Through Biel, Wenzel Hablik expanded his work dramatically, evolving from artist to designer. Over the next ten years he created textiles, furniture, jewelry, wallpaper, and combined these physical elements into refracted colorful interior spaces—rooms that feel like living inside the fragmented light of a crystal.

Reed Enger, "Wenzel Hablik, Architect of invisible cities," in Obelisk Art History, Published September 07, 2015; last modified September 20, 2022, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/wenzel-hablik/.

Wenzel Hablik was a Czech Revolutionary Artist born on August 4, 1881. Hablik contributed to the Expressionist and Art Nouveau movements, worked in Germany and died on March 23, 1934.

Figure Ashore, Wenzel Hablik

Figure Ashore 1904 – 1907

Joys of Life, Wenzel Hablik

Joys of Life 1904 – 1907

Starry Sky, Attempt, Wenzel Hablik

Starry Sky, Attempt 1909

Waves - Creative Force, Wenzel Hablik

Waves - Creative Force 1909

Interior of a Display Temple, Wenzel Hablik

Interior of a Display Temple 1914

Design for an Exhibition Building, Wenzel Hablik

Design for an Exhibition Building 1919

Come and join the struggle against all things negative and corrupting.

Delight in Existence! 1920

1 Mark Notgeld, Wenzel Hablik

1 Mark Notgeld 1921

1 Mark Notgeld: Not Kennt, Wenzel Hablik

1 Mark Notgeld: Not Kennt 1921

20 Mark Notgeld, Wenzel Hablik

20 Mark Notgeld 1921

Cathedral Interior, Wenzel Hablik

Cathedral Interior 1921

Exhibition Space Wallpapers, Wenzel Hablik

Exhibition Space Wallpapers 1921

Utopian Buildings, Wenzel Hablik

Utopian Buildings 1922

Cantilever Cupola with Five Hilltops, Wenzel Hablik

Cantilever Cupola with Five Hilltops 1924

Design for a Great Hall, Wenzel Hablik

Design for a Great Hall 1924

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