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Lot #172 

Josef Čapek (1887–1945)

Hunters in the Fields

oil on canvas
41 × 51 cm
Estimate: 3,000,000 CZK - 5,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 2,500,000 CZK
Hammer price:
2,700,000 CZK
This presented highly captivating, even expressive canvas Hunters in the Fields comes from the period of Čapek’s work when, due to political and historical events which this educated and versatile artist and writer could not ignore, a joy in selected subject-matters and vehicles of expression was being replaced by disharmony. Undoubtedly, Čapek was again confronted with Munch’s emotional artistic language, as evidenced by the very fluid and expressive rendering of the landscape. The figural topics were combined with landscape subject-matters in his work in the mid-1930s, as it began to show in an inconspicuous group of hunting paintings from 1934–1935, including the one presented. His relaxed brushwork represents the extreme position of a more painterly, visually more material expression, and thus complements the stylistic diversity growing in Čapek’s late work. The grey-white dense sky, which occupies a large part of the scene and is formed by a gestural brushwork, has a very captivating effect. The painting was exhibited at the members’ exhibition of Umělecká beseda in 1936. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. K. Srp. The expertise by PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.