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Lot #107 

Jindřich Štyrský

Still Life / Landscape

oil on canvas
43 x 40 cm
Estimate: 3,000,000 CZK - 4,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,700,000 CZK
Hammer price:
4,900,000 CZK
Absolutely unique, in all respects exceptional oil painting by Jindřich Štyrský dates back to the early 1920s, to the time just before the artist mastered the sophisticated modernist morphology. This distinctive, visually striking and, despite the seeming simplicity, inventive still life points to the artist’s period when he clarified his artistic approaches to express experiences of reality influenced by poetic naïvism and lyrical cubism, but already anticipating some of the imaginativeness and mystery of his later works. The masterfully rendered flowers in the vase seem to be almost tangible, standing on a table covered with a tablecloth of artistic design. The space is gradually flattening to the back, thus the foreground appears even more intense and suggestive to the beholder. The painting was originally owned by the engineer Jelínek known under the pseudonym Remo, the father of the painter Jiří Jelínek and Štyrský’s colleague from the Devětsil artistic group, as evidenced by the inscription at the bottom of the artwork: “Dedicated to Mr Ing. Jelínek by Štyrský, Christmas 1922”. Equally important early works of this artist occur only rarely on the auction market. The work comes from a high-quality Prague collection. Its rarity and value for collectors are further enhanced by the excellent painting on the reverse of the canvas, which would certainly make it worthwhile to reframe it and present it from both sides. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. From the attached expertise by PhDr. K. Srp: “[…] Although it is a work from Štyrský’s early period, it significantly enriches the knowledge of him, especially in terms of colour composition, when Štyrský often used the same colour for flowers and drapery. After his exhibition in 2007, several paintings from his juvenile artistic period of 1917–1922 appeared, which therefore could not have been contained in his monograph. This painting would rightfully belong in it. […]”