Lot 17
  • 17

EMIL FILLA | Still Life with Pears

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Emil Filla
  • Still Life with Pears
  • signed and dated Emil Filla 22 lower left; signed and inscribed on the reverse
  • oil and tempera on panel
  • 45 by 58cm., 17½ by 23in.


Private collection, Prague
Purchased by the present owner in Prague in 2003


Prague, SVU Mánes (stamp on the reverse)

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1922, the present work displays Emil Filla’s approach to Picasso’s and Braque’s synthetic cubism to which the artist had been exposed during his extensive travels to Paris, between 1911 and 1914. Characterised by the use of flat surfaces, sharp edges, and oblique lines, Still Life with Pears is typical of the artist’s favoured technique of incorporating everyday objects in his compositions. Filla pioneered an idiosyncratic Czech national style at the confluence of European modern art movements. This so-called ‘Cubo-Expressionism’ synthesised the troubled spiritual atmosphere of central Europe, as exemplified by Edvard Munch and the Die Brücke artists, with the pictorial structure of the Paris Cubists. It soon became the hallmark of the group Osma (The Eight) and the Group of Fine Artists, co-founded by Filla in 1911. Filla was at the epicentre of the avant-garde in Bohemia, and it is predominantly as a result of his impact that Prague has come to be recognised as the second most important centre for Cubism after Paris.

By the end of the 1920s, Filla had joined the S.V.U. Mánes group and was adopting a more orthodox Cubist technique to deconstruct the surrounding world, evident in Still life with Pears. In such works, the artist moves away from the metaphysical and focuses on expressing his affinity for the concrete and physical realm.