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Lot #72 
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Antonín Slavíček

Grain Field

oil on canvas
1909
signed
44 x 51 cm
Estimate: 3,000,000 CZK - 4,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,900,000 CZK
Hammer price:
2,100,000 CZK
The presented painting comes from the final period of Slavíček’s work, when he worked in the Německá Rybná village whilst visiting the parish priest Jan Selichar, whom he knew from back in time from the Kameničky village. This work is an apt document of the subject-matter, which he managed to capture in a very modern, even abstract approach presenting his artistic personality as a leading spiritus agens far beyond the general definition of the so-called Mařák Landscape School at the Prague Academy. In this simple landscape subject-matter executed in the artist’s typical mature style, the earth and the sky are connected in an almost equal partnership, yet the simple zone of the sky dominates. Throughout the painting, Slavíček’s distinctive energetic brushwork full of an intuitive layering of colours is again manifested here. Characteristic of his painting style is the generosity with which he captured the basic landscape features in a few strokes and basic areas, as well as the inimitable fusion of light atmosphere, expression, and realism. These are exactly the qualities that made Slavíček rightly called one of the founders of Czech modern landscape painting. The fact that the artwork was repeatedly exhibited (e.g. Antonín Slavíček’s Jubilee Exhibition in Mánes, Prague, February – March 1932, cat. No. 201; Prague Castle Riding School, September – November 1961, no. 293, also reproduced in the catalogue) and published in inventories of the artist’s work (J. Kotalík ed.: Antonín Slavíček 1970–1910, List of Works, Prague 1965, fig. 324, p. 226; J. Tomeš: Antonín Slavíček, Prague 1966, cat. no. 436, repro.) also increases its attractiveness for collectors. On the reverse, there is a stamp from the exhibition in the Prague Castle Riding School and a label with the name and address of the then owner (Dr. L. Neumann, Prague, Vinohrady, Benešovská, 33, 92 3101). Assessed during consultations by prof. R. Prahl, CSc., and prof. J. Zemina. The expertise by PhDr. K. Srp is attached.