L13102

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Lot 26
  • 26

Jan Zrzavý

Estimate
200,000 - 250,000 GBP
Sold
542,500 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Jan Zrzavý
  • Ležící hoch (Sleeping Boy)
  • signed and titled Jan Zrzavý. Ležící hoch on the reverse
  • oil on canvas

Provenance

Adolf Loos, Paris (purchased from the artist in 1918)
Paul Verdier (purchased from the above in 1919)
Private Collection, Montreal
Private Collection, New York

Exhibited

Prague, Obecní dům (Municipal House), 2nd SURSUM Exhibition, 1912
Prague, Topičův Salon, 1918
Bochum, Museum Bochum, Osteuropäische Avantgarde: aus der Sammlung des Museum Bochum und privaten Sammlungen, 1988-89, no. 355
Prague, Galerie Hlavního města Prahy, Dům u Kamenného zvonu, Umělecké sdružení Sursum, 1910-1912, 1996

Literature

Karla Šourka, Dílo Jana Zrzavého (1906-1940), Prague, 1941, no. 23, illustrated
František Dvořák, Jan Zrzavý, Prague, 1965, no. 7, illustrated
Jan Zrzavý, Jan Zrzavý vzpomíná na domov, dětství a mladá léta, Prague, 1971, p. 82, no. 31, illustrated
Prague, Národní Galerie, Jan Zrzavý, 1890-1977: výstava ke stému výročí narození, 1990-91
Karel Srp & Jana Orlíková, Jan Zrzavý, Prague, 2003, p. 135, no. 149, illustrated (with incorrect measurements)

Catalogue Note

Hailed by Bohumil Kubišta as the best work of the Prague SURSUM exhibition of 1912, Sleeping Boy exemplifies Zrzavý's introspective paintings expressing his state of mind in the years when he decided to devote his life to painting. While close to his other contemporaries in the Czech avant garde, Zrzavý prefered to remain detached from their groupings, exploring his own style in landmark works such as his psychologically bleak Vale of Tears of 1908 (fig. 1), or his provocatively charged Antichrist of 1909. 

Short of money but keen to make his way as an artist, in autumn of 1907 Zrzavý made a brief yet decisive visit to Paris, taking inspiration from the masters of the High Renaissance, above all Leonardo da Vinci. While at the Louvre Zrzavý may also have seen Girodet's The Sleep of Endymion (fig. 2), whose composition the present work mirrors. From 1911 onwards Zrzavý's friendship with Kubišta, the leading member of Osma, further reinforced his interest in classical composition and solid, geometric forms, the spiked mountains in the backdrop here becoming one of his signature touches.
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