Painted circa 1912-14, the present work and the following lot are important early works from Kubin's cubist period, executed in Paris after his arrival in the French capital in 1912. Other works from this period, which also display the distinctive use of bright yellow and blue in his compositions of this time, are in the collections of the Galerie Vytvarneho Umeni in Ostrava (fig. 1) and the National Gallery Prague (fig. 2).
Initially a member of the Prague avant-garde group Osma (The Eight), Kubin moved to Munich in 1907, where he worked and exhibited with members of Der Sturm and Der Blaue Reiter, before making France his permanent home in 1912. He initially stayed in Paris at the home of his friend, the Czech writer Otto Klein, whose poem La misère humaine was published in 1914 with six woodcut illustrations by Kubin.
Both the present work and lot 21 are signed and inscribed by Kubin with Otto Klein's name and address on labels on the reverse.
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