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Lot #182 

Josef Lada (1887–1957)


mixed media (gouache, ink) on cardboard
signed upper left
27 × 41 cm
framed, mounted
Estimate: 2,000,000 CZK - 3,000,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,500,000 CZK
Hammer price:
1,700,000 CZK

This poetic depiction of the Czech village and its local folklore presents an idealised memory of Josef Lada’s childhood. Being the youngest of four cobbler children, he was born in Hrusice, Central Bohemia. His native village, with the iconic church of St. Wenceslas, became an unlimited source of inspiration for him. He repeatedly captured its panorama in his works and used it as a background for many of his stories. The presented lyrical scene was executed in the turbulent time of the Second World War, which paradoxically was one of the most prolific periods of Lada’s work. It belongs to the series of children’s games in the changing seasons, which set the rhythm of village life. Although this subject matter is frequent in his repertoire at the beginning of the 1940s, the spring games appear less often than, for example, the popular winter ones. The artist usually depicted children spending free time together in the soft grass by an old green willow tree, with a picturesque village with blossoming trees and a simple church in the background. The unifying figure of these compositions was usually an older girl with a scarf on her head weaving a wreath of flowers, who also appeared in the presented work. Lada used these kinds of paintings full of inner peace to escape from the reality of dramatic wartime, which allowed him to create his harmonious world. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. The expertise of PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.