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Guarantee of Democracy - Václav Havel

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Czech Republic (designed and printed)

  • Date:

    1989 (designed and printed)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour offset lithograph printed on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Zdenek Kavan

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case Y, shelf 79, box E

Václav Havel was a key figure in the 'Velvet Revolution' that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia and a founder of the opposition movement Civic Forum. His charismatic personality and leadership made him a focus of the country's hopes for a democratic future and his image inspired widespread loyalty. He was selected as president of Czechoslovakia by parliament in December 1989 and was re-elected as president by the Federal Assembly after the free elections in June 1990. This photograph by Miloš Fikejz portrays Havel as a bohemian, a world-worn but visionary dissident. His image evolves in later posters which present him in a suit with the body language of a statesman.

In the text on this poster he claims to be politically independent of any particular ideology and to act solely according to the moral dictates of his own conscience.

Designed, printed and published in former Czechoslovakia

Physical description

This poster promotes Václav Havel's candidacy for the office of President of Czechoslovakia by reproducing an informal, smiling portrait photograph of him wearing a sweater and raincoat. The portrait is bordered by red and blue bands, which end in a flourish and combine with the white of the paper to symbolise the Czechoslovakian national colours. Below this image is an extract from his signed statement declaring his political stance.

Place of Origin

Czech Republic (designed and printed)


1989 (designed and printed)



Materials and Techniques

Colour offset lithograph printed on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Vytiskl TISK, sdruzeny podnik, zavod 6, Brno-Horni Herspice
Place of printing.


Height: 42.0 cm maximum, Width: 29.5 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Anonymous poster promoting Václav Havel for President, designed, printed and published in former Czechoslovakia, 1989.

Production Note

Designed, printed and published in former Czechoslovakia


Paper; Printing inks


Offset colour lithograph

Subjects depicted

Freedom; Ideology; Politics; Revolution; Democracy; Presidential elections


Prints; Propaganda; Politics


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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