Bedřich Havránek (1821–1899)

At the Pool

Technique :oil on canvas


Signature:bottom right

Dimensions:70 x 88 cm


starting price:‍76000 EUR

achieved price:‍129600 EUR

Auction 84th, Lot 122


Havránek's attractive composition of a forest scene with a romantically dilapidated cottage directly adjacent to a small pond represents a completely unique opportunity to see on the auction market a work forming the very essence, and a textbook example, of the author's top artistic expression. Havránek was a pupil of A. Mánes, Ch. Ruben and M. Haushofer. This shaped his artistic expression so much that he remained faithful throughout his life to a realistic approach to painting. He was valued by contemporary critics especially for his refined sense of detail and meticulous rendering of specific surfaces or shapes, as well as for his ability to faithfully capture colour tonality. This approach, especially in his top and late works, creates an eye-catching experience for the viewer, for his works seem to be painted under a magnifying glass and the artist "did not miss a single stalk of grass, a single leaf or thread." Given the date of the canvas, its subject and name (At the pool), it might be possible to consider its possible identification with the painting At the pond, which Havránek exhibited in the same year in the Prague salon of Mikuláš Lehman. At the end of 1875 Světozor, a Czech picture magazine, reported on the exhibited picture and characterized it not only highly poetically, but also very aptly: "… In the dark forest, between tall trees, there is a pond lined with reeds, algae and water plants, behind which a half-demolished cottage dozes off in the forest thicket."

This exceptionally beautiful, romantic scene certainly deserves increased attention from collectors not only in the context of the work of Bedřich Havránek, but also of the entire Haushofer school.The authenticity, unique collector's appeal and the unquestionable gallery value of the work are further confirmed by its long-term loan to the collections of the National Gallery in Prague (2000–2019), its exhibition in the permanent collection at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague and publication in the guidebook of this exhibition, as well as its reproduction in the monograph of the artist (Blažíčková-Horová, N.: Bedřich Havránek, Prague 1994, 71, no. 37). Assesed during consultations by prof. R. Prahl, CSc. and PhDr. Š. Leubnerová. Expertise by PhDr. N. Blažíčková-Horová attached.