Lot 3
  • 3

František Foltýn

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
137,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Franti�ek Folt�n
  • View of Košice
  • signed FOLTYN / VR23 lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 69.5 by 84cm., 27¼ by 33in.


Acquired in New Jersey, late 1990s

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1923, View of Košice dates from the early days of Foltýn’s career, when, having returned from the front, he settled in Brno and had his first exhibition at the Museum of East Slovakia in February 1922. Typical of his early compositions are Cezannesque semi-rural landscapes with glimpses of modernity, such as the present one, where electricity poles are visible along the bridge in Košice, Slovakia.

During the 19th Century, Košice underwent important transformation. By the 1840s there were over 460 workshops, sugar and nail factories, a railway, and the first telegram message arrived in 1856. To locals, this must have been a huge change which not only affected the city’s landscape, but also the economy and people’s way of life. Like some other views of Košice from the same period (fig. 1), the present work presents the city at the centre of the composition, hewn in by the dramatic mountains and cloud- filled sky of the background and the trees in the foreground.  It is depicted as a place devoid of human life. These dark urban peripheries were Foltyn’s response to a wider international movement which developed mainly in Germany and was known as New Objectivity.

Foltyn moved to Paris in 1924, and during his ten years in the French capital mainly produced geometric-abstract pictures. It was only when he settled back in Brno in 1934/35 that he returned to a more realistic representation of urban landscapes.