Emil Orlik(1870 - 1932) was a Prague-born Czech painter, etcher, and lithographer. The son of a master tailor, Orlik, having been rejected by Germany’s Academy of Fine Art, first studied at the private art school of Heinrich Knirr, where one of his fellow students was Paul Klee. Orlik was part of an artistic circle in Prague that included Franz Kafka and Rainer Maria Rilke. From 1891-1893, he attended the Munich Academy and the Academy School for Copperplate Engraving where he experimented with various printmaking processes, especially woodcuts, although he felt constrained by the conservative approaches followed there.
After performing his military service in Prague, he returned to Munich, where he worked for the periodical 'Die Jugend'. He spent most of 1898, travelling through Europe and, during this period, became aware of Japanese art, and the impact it was having in Europe. He then and decided to visit Japan to learn woodcut techniques. In 1900, Orlik set out on his first trip to East Asia and, upon his return, published 'Aus Japan', a portfolio of etchings from his travels. In 1905, Orlik was appointed a professor at the School for Graphic and Book Art of the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin. He travelled to the Far-East again in 1911 and visited North Africa, Egypt, Ceylon, Korea and China on his way to Japan. After returning to Europe, Orlik taught in Berlin until his death in 1932.