Jaroslav Paur was born on the 25th of July 1918 in Dubí close to Kladno as the third son into the family of a work shift supervisor at Kladno mines. A student of Prof. Rotter at the Prague School of Applied Graphic Arts, he subsequently enrolled at the Ukrainian School of Arts in Prague (his tutor being Prof. Jan Ivan Kulc), and at a private school of painting of Miloš Malina, to eventually graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He obtained his degree from Prof. Jakub Obrovský's studio of painting at the Academy only after end the World War, in 1949.
In 1943, he married Ludmila Poláčková, a teacher (1920 – 2004); in 1945 a daughter named Markéta was born into the family which settled in Kladno, and in 1963 moved to Prague where Jaroslav Paur used the opportunity to take over Prof. Vratislav Nechleba's studio, in Americká Street No. 2 in Vinohrady, boasting a roof terrace overlooking the whole city.
Jaroslav Paur belongs to an artistic generation making their first appearance in mid-1940s. His early work was influenced by the expressionism of the period, reflecting with its fierce symbolism the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the grim atmosphere of the Second World War. In the 1940s he closed his early symbolist period creating a series of fantasy landscapes and a cycle named the Black Roses, and chose a more Civilist art approach in his treatments of fascism and the ironworks of Kladno, among other topics.
Soon after the end of the war, he left for an educational stay in Poland. The experience of bombed-out Warsaw brought him the inspiration for a cycle of paintings of the same name, created in 1947-1948, on the grounds of which he was appointed a Knight of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1949. At the same time he became member of the Mánes Association of Fine Artists.
Following a short period in early 1950s in which he devoted himself to a lyric landscape painting, his work turned back to the existential subject matter of the city that was to become his characteristic expression. In the beginning, it showed poeticising civilist traits, later to be replaced by a more expressionist approach. He was strongly influenced by his numerous visits to Paris. In his paintings, the city as a specific urban unit progressively transforms through abstraction into a megalopolis of a solid homogeneous form, haunted by a solar or lunar disc above its low horizon. Paur's iconography is dominated by motifs of menhirs, satellites, crystals, druses, fragments of architecture, etc. A major influence was for him the science of astronomy, completed with his personal observations using an astronomical telescope. The city ceased to be a concrete space, and became a universal symbol of our civilisation, a cosmic vision. It was not only by coincidence that Paur's exposition at the Nová Síň Gallery in Prague in 1970 was introduced by a quotation of Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
A characteristic trait of Jaroslav Paur's oeuvre is the use of an exceptionally sophisticated painting technique based on the mastery of a complex technological procedure. Its outcome is a pictural tissue woven from multiple coats of colour. The underlying layers are filtered through the topmost colour pastes, polished by numerous coats of glaze, and often broken in a graphic manner with a mesh of lines and scratches. Paur's canvases opalesce in rich hues of white, the intensity of which seems to radiate from its effulgent texture. His technical mastery reaches a perfection that is a guarantee of every painting being an aesthetically consummate and complete organism.
In 1968, Jaroslav Paur was awarded the title of an Artist of Merit.
Jaroslav Paur died on the 21st of December 1987 in Prague.
From texts by Jiří Padrta for Jaroslav Paur's artist monograph published by Nakladatelství československých výtvarných umělců in 1964, by Luboš Hlaváček from the catalogue for Jaroslav Paur's exhibition at the Nová Síň Gallery in Prague in 1970, and by Václav Formánek from the catalogue for Jaroslav Paur's exhibition at the Václav Špála Gallery in 1984 compiled by Terezie Zemánková.