Push your

Lot #127 

Josef Lada

Hunt on the Village Square

mixed media (gouache, ink) on cardboard
37 x 58 cm
Estimate: 3,000,000 CZK - 4,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,700,000 CZK
Hammer price:
2,700,000 CZK
This painting of humorously wild subject-matter with a close insight into the environment of the Czech village represents the work of one of the most famous Czech artists. Being the youngest of four cobbler children, Josef Lada was born in Hrusice, Central Bohemia, from where he drew inspiration throughout his life. This original lyrical scene was executed in the early 1940s, when Lada’s characteristic artistic expression had already been established. At that time, he strengthened his position as leading illustrator for countless books for children and adults, many of which became icons of Czech literature largely due to Lada’s contribution. The playfully grasped scene on the presented artwork is in fact an exception in his work, especially given the number of figures that appear so rarely in such a large format. As for the hunting theme, on the other hand, it was one of the artist’s favourite subject-matters. He captured here an unusual situation when the whole hunt moved to close proximity to the village and caused an overall confusion. The picturesqueness of the whole situation is based on complete chaos, reversed roles of hunters and hunted and many storylines that can be observed in the picture. The grotesque scene is framed by stylised folk architecture. Despite the fact that Lada usually escaped from the reality of dramatic war times through his typical paintings of romantic sceneries full of inner peace, this time he executed a cheerful work full of wit and joy. The artwork was presented at Lada’s retrospective exhibition (Josef Lada, Municipal House, Prague 2007), in the catalogue of which it is reproduced (pp. 194–195). It is also reproduced in the artist’s monograph (J. Olič: Lada, Prague, Slovart 2007, p. 350). Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. The expertise by PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.