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Lot #12 

Josef Lada (1887–1957)


gouache on cardboard
signed upper right
26 × 40 cm
Estimate: 1,800,000 CZK - 2,800,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,300,000 CZK
Hammer price:
1,600,000 CZK

This high-quality work is an exceptional example of Lada’s unmistakable poetic style presented on the background of a typical Czech village, emphasising poetic folk art and rhetoric. It comes from the peak period of his work. The romantic scene reflects the painter’s indifference to conventions and the desire to choose his path. He was self-taught in drawing but gradually developed a distinctive style with round morphology of individual elements, strong black outlines, and simplified perspective caused by his visual impairment. The illustrations, paintings, and drawings he created during his lifetime are admired by children and adults until the present. The spirituality and magic of the snowy scenery are depicted with festive calmness and tenderness, well-known from Lada’s Christmas postcards. The subject matter of winter fun, and above all the motif of building a snowman, appeared in Lada’s work since his early cartoons. In the presented gouache, the snowman is almost finished, and most children are just warming their cold hands and watching their creation whilst adding the last detail. The atmosphere of the painting with a soft colour range is exceptional, evoking winter in its most beautiful form. Countless snowflakes, which Lada captured so faithfully that we almost want to reach out and grab one, are peacefully falling on the winter village. Until now, the presented work was in the family of the owner, who acquired it directly from the artist. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. The expertise of PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.