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Lot #107 

Josef Čapek (1887–1945)

Children and a House

oil on canvas
signed upper right
32 × 45 cm
Estimate: 5,000,000 CZK - 8,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 4,000,000 CZK
Hammer price:
8,300,000 CZK

This vivid work of Čapek’s unmistakable manner and distinctive aesthetics evidences his optimistic view of the world inspired by his lifelong favourite subject matter, closely connected with the artwork of his brother Karel. The highly avant-garde masterful painting gently follows the roots of the traditional Czech school of landscape painting. It demonstrates Čapek’s fascination with the children’s world full of joyful harmony and fragile existence. In addition, the children’s figures accentuate the purity of the painter’s expression, manifested not only in the theme but also in the simple colour range of elemental blue and red tones and the reduced shapes of the compact body forms. This painting of high value for collectors and galleries was presented at many of the artist’s exhibitions (Members’ Exhibition of Umělecká beseda, Prague 1932, cat. No. 11; Josef Čapek In memoriam, Umělecká beseda, Prague 1945; Josef Čapek, Slavonic Island in Prague, cat. No. 136; Josef Čapek and Children, North Bohemian Gallery of Fine Arts in Litoměřice and Karlovy Vary Art Gallery, 1988, cat. No. 138; Children’s Motifs in the Work of Josef Čapek, Czech Museum of Fine Arts in Prague, 1996, listed on p. 52 without a cat. No.). It was also reproduced in the inventory of the artist’s work (P. Pečinková: I Worked a Lot – Inventory of the Artwork of Josef Čapek III, Humpolec 2023, p. 589, cat. No. III/318) and in the catalogue of the exhibition Josef Čapek: In memoriam (Slavonic Island in Prague, 22. 09. 1945 – 31. 10. 1946). The attractiveness of this work strengthens its provenance – it comes from the artist’s property, as evidenced by Olga Scheinpflugová’s stamp on the reverse. Assessed during consultations by PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D., and prof. J. Zemina. The expertise of PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.