Jan Zrzavý painting sells for record-breaking 28 million crowns
Jan Zrzavý’s painting Fantastic Landscape was auctioned in Prague for 28.08 million crowns, a new auction record. Zrzavý’s more expensive work was not sold not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad. The painter’s previous record was the painting Sleeping Boy, which was sold in London in 2013 for 450,000 pounds, which was then 14.7 million crowns without an auction surcharge, and with fees, the price was 19.3 million crowns.
The painting Fantastic Landscape was auctioned by the same company as on Sunday four years ago, when it was sold for a starting price of 12 million crowns – and even then, it set Zrzavý’s record. Now the painting was developed for 20 million crowns. On Thursday, another work, the painting The Queen of the Seas, will be offered in the Arthouse Hejtmánek auction hall. Its starting price will be 9.5 million crowns.
Painter, graphic artist, illustrator, and set designer Jan Zrzavý is an essential figure in Czech fine art and a representative of the avant-garde emerging at the beginning of the 20th century. According to experts, the painting Fantastic Landscape has literary inspiration from Julius Zeyer, who describes similar landscapes in his literary works. The painting is characterized by great sensitivity and introduces the viewer to the fantastic landscape, which Zrzavý dealt with in detail. As in other works, he presents the observer with an ingenious play with scales, volumes, and color contrasts. The work was created between 1913 and 1914.
A new domestic auction record on November 29 was a painting by František Kupka called Divertimento II., Which was sold at an auction in Prague for 75.2 million crowns. Including the auction surcharge, the buyer will pay 90.24 million crowns for it. The painting thus became Kupka’s most expensive work. The starting price of the painting, which, according to the auction hall, belongs to one of the most important works of its abstract period of the 1930s, was 30 million crowns.