Two fine art auctions will take place in Prague on Sunday, the organizers of which want to offer a narrower selection of works for more demanding art collectors. The auction in Topič’s salon on Národní třída will offer several works whose starting price exceeds a million crowns by authors such as Josef Šíma, Kamil Lhoták and Karel Malich.
Later in the afternoon, the auction will be held in the Expo 58 ART building in Letenské sady, its organizers consider the most important item of the auction to be Marc Chagall’s painting Maternité sur fond bleu (Maternity on a blue background), which will be called for 12 million crowns.
In Chagall’s blue-toned painting, a mother holding a child in a calm, nostalgic scene is depicted with warm colors and a soft brush. The dreamlike composition depicts aspects of the artist’s personal and family history as well as Eastern European folklore. The painting was in the painter’s collection until his death, according to the organizing company Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, this is the first auction sale of this work.
Alois Wachsman’s Ludvík XVI. will be auctioned for 5.5 million, with a starting price of more than a million, works by Václav Špála, Emil Filla or Jiří Trnka’s Songbook will also be auctioned. It contains 56 original mixed media drawings, including three illustrations that did not make it into the book. According to the organizers of the auction, it is a rarity that the illustration work of one book appears completely complete. Jiří Trnka’s family included the songbook in the auction.
The autumn auction season will also continue on the following weekends. On Sunday, November 19, there will be a large hall auction in the Municipal House in Prague, whose collection includes 190 works and will offer representatives of the Czech avant-garde in the form of works by Emil Filla, Antonín Procházka and Václav Špála. According to the organizing company European Arts Investments, the central work of the auction will be the famous Merging of Souls by Max Švabinský from 1901, which experts consider to be a key work of Czech symbolism. It will be called for ten million crowns.
In it, Švabinský used the then-important motif of a fatal woman, who does not attract men with her pride and cruelty, but on the contrary with her refined delicacy and unrealistic dreaminess. In the auction is a large format painting that has not been exhibited for 50 years; it has a smaller format in the collection of the National Gallery.
A week later, on November 26, Galerie Kodl is holding an auction in Prague. In addition to works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries to the present day, it will offer several artefacts associated with the playwright and first Czech president Václav Havel, which will be auctioned to save Lucerna Palace. Among them is, for example, his well-known coat captured in many photographs from the Velvet Revolution, including pictures from the rally on November 21, 1989, at which Havel first spoke to the crowd in the packed Wenceslas Square. Two paintings by Havel will also be auctioned.
The most expensive auction item will be the painting Monte Carlo by Toyen from 1926, whose auction price will be 18 million crowns. The auction will also include another work by the painter, the post-war canvas Il s’anime from 1957, which will be offered to collectors for seven million crowns.