Lot 22
  • 22

Emil Filla

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
110,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Emil Filla
  • View over Gruž
  • signed and dated E. Filla / 1908 lower left
  • oil on card
  • 66 by 50cm., 26 by 19¾in.


Purchased by the present owner in the early 1990s


Possibly, Prague, Topičův salon, Osma exhibition, 1908

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1908, the present work depicts a birds-eye view of Gruž harbour and the Dubrovnik coastline. It is a rare work from Filla’s early period, combining influences from Matisse's Fauve paintings and Edvard Munch’s Expressionist style. Filla first saw the work of the Impressionists in Prague in 1902, and was strongly influenced by the expressionist technique and palette of Edvard Munch after visiting the Munch exhibitions in Prague in 1904 and 1905.

Filla visited Gruž and Dubrovnik in 1908 together with his friend, the Moravian writer Josef Uher.  A portrait of Uher and a number of works from the countryside around Dubrovnik were included in the second exhibition of Osma in 1908 at the Topičův salon in Prague (see Vojtech Lahoda, Emil Filla, Prague, 2007, pp.60 – 63).

According to Professor Lahoda, Filla’s landscape paintings of Gruž harbour and the bays are studies of colours and their psychological effects. Colours are applied as bold planes, creating a mood rather than a naturalistic depiction of the landscape.

Emil Filla was a painter, sculptor, engraver and theorist, and played one of the most influential roles in the rise of the avant-garde in Bohemia. He was instrumental in the formation of Osma (The Eight), and exhibited in both Osma exhibitions in 1907 and 1908. From 1910-11 he was a member of the artist group S.V.U. Mánes and in 1911 co-founded the Group of Fine Artists. His later works were strongly influenced by Picasso, and it was Filla's subsequent purist interpretation of Cubism that became the hallmark of the Group of Fine Artists.