Czech-born painter Ivan Mrkvička (Bulgarian: Иван Мърквичка) is regarded as one of the founders of the modern Bulgarian painting. He contributed to the artistic life of Bulgaria, newly liberated from Turkish domination, in the late 19th and early 20th century. Born in the village of Vidim near Dubá, he studied at the academies in Prague and Munich. Mrkvička came to Plovdiv in 1881 upon the invitation by the then-Eastern Rumelian government. He worked as a teacher of draftsmanship at a high school, cooperating with the most important cultural figures in the city: Ivan Vazov, Konstantin Velichkov, Petko Karavelov and Petko Slaveykov. Mrkvička settled in Sofia in 1889 and was one of the founders of the National Academy of Arts in 1896. A master of classic painting and drawing techniques, his most significant achievements are in scenes of everyday life, although he also worked in the historic painting genre and is the author of many high-quality portraits (including Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and the tsaritsa, Princess Eleonore). One of the creators of the coat of arms of Bulgaria and the coat of arms of Sofia, he became a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1918. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1921, where he primarily focused on portraiture, including painting the portraits of important politicians. A number of Mrkvička’s paintings are owned by the Sofia City Gallery and the National Gallery in Prague.