Antonín Chittussi (1847–1891)

Lásenice Pond I

Technique :oil on canvas


Signature:lower left

Dimensions:32,5 × 46 cm


starting price:‍60000 EUR

achieved price:‍124800 EUR

88th Aukce, lot 192


The Lásenice Pond is more than 500 years old, but its beauty was only discovered by Antonín Chittussi for a wider art-loving audience at the end of the 19th century. This painter, so closely associated with the French plein air movement, was able to look at the Czech landscape from a completely new point of view, thus with a distinctive approach that was neither romantic nor realistic; it was rather abstract and, to a certain extent, transcendent, therefore it was no surprise when his work later became a powerful source of inspiration for some modern landscape artists. Ponds and wetlands are not only part of the character of the Bohemian landscape, but also of Chittussi’s portfolio. In them, the author presented his vision based on a symbiosis between nature cultivated by people and respect for it. He drew inspiration from the works of Théodore Rousseau and Charles-François Daubigny among others, and in Bohemia mainly from Antonín Waldhauser. The rendering of the presented work clearly demonstrates the desire to complete the painting at once, without interruptions and later corrections in the atelier; he usually worked that way and thanks to this his paintings gained clear expression, swing, and freshness. It is known that he did not like to paint in such a way “so that the water spills over the (lower) edge of the painting”, as if he were looking at the scene from a boat or directly from the water surface. Lásenice Pond I is thus rather an exception, but it proves that he was able to cope with the problem very well. Even here he did not completely avoid the human presence and, according to his habit and nature, he made it present at least with the silhouette of distant buildings placed almost in the centre of the diagonals. At the same time, he managed to accurately express the weather conditions, time of day, and perhaps even such nuances as the smell of the landscape, which was already noted in contemporary descriptions of the artwork from the turn of the century. The value of the work is also confirmed by its publication in literature, especially in the recent inventory of the artist’s work with references to other literature sources, reproductions, and exhibitions (R. Prahl: Chittussi, Prague 2019, p. 165, cat. No. L 35). As evidenced by the stamp on the reverse of the stretcher, the painting belonged to the collection of Jindřich Waldes and subsequently to the collection of the National Gallery in Prague (inv. No. VO 2031). The work is presented in an elegant period frame. Assessed during consultations by PhDr. Š. Leubnerová and prof. J. Zemina. The expertise by prof. R. Prahl, CSc, is attached.