Jindich tyrsk (1899-1942)
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Jindrich Styrsky (1899-1942)

Church on a hill (recto); Saint Sebastian (verso)

Details
Jindrich Styrsky (1899-1942)
Church on a hill (recto); Saint Sebastian (verso)
signed and dated 'Styrsky 21' (recto; lower right)
oil on canvas
22¼ x 18½ in. (56.5 x 47.2 cm.)
Painted in 1921
Provenance
Toyen [Marie Cermainova], Prague.
Lothar and Vera Neumann Collection, Lausanne, by whom acquired from the above in 1946, and thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
Exh. cat., Jindrich Styrsky, Lenka Bydzovska & Karel Srp, Prague, 2007, p. 33 (verso illustrated p. 17; untitled and as location unknown).
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Karel Srp has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.


In the present lot, we behold Styrsky's vision; the rural village with its chapel high on the hill and the dark colours of nature demonstrate a nostalgia for harmony and a desire to return to his cultural heritage, which he has combined with the liberating possibilities of Cubism. Styrsky and his partner Toyen saw landscape as an emotionally and socially significant subject, one of post-war cultural recovery, reorienting it away from the weight of symbolic mythology and towards the elementary values of imagination. One of the important themes of the Czech inter-war Avant-Garde was this effort to create a new environment, in which life would turn to poetry. The source of this poetry would be the culture of everyday life. 'The [Czech] avant-garde painters continued to represent landscape in ways developed by modern art movements, especially Cubism, but also enlarged the motifs of high art with the emotional approaches to landscape that characterised Nave Art and the low genres of folk and proletarian art and culture.' (T.Vlcek, Prague 2005)

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