Thumbnail-size images of copyrighted artworks are displayed under fair use, in accordance with guidelines recommended by the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, published by the College Art Association in February 2015.

Czechoslovakia, 1967 (Angel on Bicycle)

Josef Koudelka (Czechoslovakian, born in 1938)


Image: 22.9 x 35.6 cm (9 x 14 in.) Sheet: 30.2 x 40.6 cm (11 7/8 x 16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View


Contemporary Art, Europe, Photography



During the early 1960s, Josef Koudelka began an extended documentary project focusing on the lives of gypsies, at first in his native Czechoslovakia and later in Romania, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. His grainy, unsentimental black-and-white images typically portray his subjects in the context of their families and their religious faith. Koudelka sympathized with the disenfranchised state of these “outsiders” and often photographed them arrayed within shallow, stagelike spaces, as in this enigmatic image. The odd juxtaposition of an old woman, a horse-drawn cart, and a beautiful youth (presumably costumed for a church pageant) is characteristic of Koudelka’s pictures, which ask more questions than they answer.


Sheet all signed in ink, lower right margin: "Josef Koudelka".


The Atelier Group, LTD., New York; purchased February 1982.

Credit Line

Polaroid Foundation Purchase Fund


© 2010 Josef Koudelka