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Lot #92 

Josef Lada (1887–1957)

Meeting by a Snowman

gouache on cardboard
25 × 39.5 cm
Estimate: 2,000,000 CZK - 4,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,300,000 CZK
Hammer price:
2,800,000 CZK

This painting entitled Meeting by a Snowman represents another version of Lada’s winter villages, with the motif of building a snowman, which are very common in his work of the 1940s, yet do not lose their unique expression and artistic qualities. Lada used painting as a way to escape from the reality of dramatic war time, which gave him the opportunity to create his own harmonious, sometimes humorous world, far from a war-torn Europe. He was self-taught in drawing, but gradually developed a distinctive style with strong black outlines and a simplified perspective caused by his visual impairment, and round morphology of individual elements. The illustrations, paintings, and drawings he created during his lifetime are admired by both children and adults until the present. The presented romantic scene is full of all the characteristic details of his works and it is obvious that he did not care about conventions and followed his own path. Spirituality and magic of the snowy scenery are portrayed with festive calmness and tenderness. His native village, Hrusice, with the iconic church of St. Wenceslas, became an unlimited source of inspiration for Lada; its panorama was repeatedly captured in his works and it was also a scene of many of his stories. Several gouaches with the same iconographic and compositional layout are known from this period, which can be compared with this work, e.g. Winter (1949), Building the Snowman (1949). In 2008, the painting was represented at the reprise of the Josef Lada (1887–1957) jubilee exhibition at the East Bohemia Gallery in Pardubice. It is also published in the artist’s monograph (J. Olič: Lada, Prague 2008, cat. no. 762, p. 612). Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. The expertise by PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.