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Lot #197 

Kamil Lhoták (1912–1990)


oil on canvas
51 × 65 cm
Estimate: 2,000,000 CZK - 3,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,300,000 CZK
Hammer price:
2,100,000 CZK

This artwork of a unique subject-matter for the artist is a rare example of Lhoták’s work executed before the formation of the Skupina 42 (Group 42) artistic group, in which he was a leading representative. The relaxed and simply approached theme almost fatefully foreshadows the painter’s most fundamental civilist period. Remarkable is the airy atmosphere and masterful brushwork, with an absence of Lhoták’s usual attention to detail, and an almost lyrical impression. The depicted scene is optically softened by a sparse, mostly light monochrome colour as if surrounded by a haze, which gives the beholder a dreamlike impression, whilst referencing the early days of modern technology brings nostalgic memories. In the left corner is the artist’s inscription “Dover 1860”, referring to the place and time of the depiction. The painting was exhibited in the Municipal House, Prague, at the Umělecká beseda members’ exhibition (17. 12. 1939 – 15. 1. 1940, cat. No. 34) and is listed in the artist’s inventory under No. 95. Assessed during consultations by PhDr. A. Strnadlová and Ing. L. Šteffek. From the attached expertise by PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D.: („[…] Lhoták in this painting, with unrepeatable poetics and subtle nostalgia, brings to light a story that took place a long time ago, in a time that has irretrievably disappeared in the dust of rapid development and major social changes. […]“).