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Josef Lada (1887–1957) Water Goblin

qouache on paper
1947
lower left
22.5 × 32.5 cm
frame, glass, pasparted

Starting price1,500,000 CZK Hammer price2,400,000 CZK
86th Auction, lot 141 This representative example from the artist’s sought-after period of the 1940s presents the subject-matter of a water goblin, a popular fairy-tale character to which Lada had often and gladly returned since the late 1930s. In 1939, he even published a book based on his artwork entitled “Bubáci a hastrmani” (Bogeymen and Water Goblins), which attracted both children and adults. He skilfully adapted his illustrations to the adventures of Brčál and Pulec the water goblins and Mulisák the bogeyman. From a technical point of view, Water Goblin carries the artist’s characteristic style, which can be identified in strong black lines, the round morphology of individual elements, and the simplified colour range; it is also a synthesis of all the characteristic details of his works. In the painting, we can not only see the figure of a lonely water goblin, but also a well-known old willow and many times varied castle ruins in the background. The fabulously romantic scene seems to become the artist’s personal escape into a mystical world, far away from reality. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D. The expertise by PhDr. P. Pečinková, CSc., is attached.
Auction day 91
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