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Václav Radimský (1867–1946) Last Rays of Light

oil on cardboard
before 1900
lower right
61 × 86.5 cm
frame

Starting price1,800,000 CZK Hammer price3,000,000 CZK
89th Auction, lot 157 Václav Radimský quickly got used to the environment in France and around 1900 he had already fully established himself there as an artist. The nearest watercourses, their surroundings, and sometimes also picturesque village buildings forming an inseparable organic whole with nature became an inexhaustible source of inspiration in all seasons for him. The presented painting belongs to this most appreciated creative period of his. It was executed by confident, dynamic brushstrokes of thick colour layers. Being knowledgeable in French models, Radimský paid special attention to a faithful caption of the airy atmosphere. His work with light is also essential, allowing the painting to fully shine from within with exceptional intensity. The painting captures a landscape with a stream surrounded by mature and fallen trees, a mill in the background and a distant tower of the village church in the very back plan. For Radimský, this particular landscape stretch was so inspiring that he dealt with it repeatedly, and it brought him great success – it was presented in the contemporary press under several titles: Norman Farmhouse at Sunset / Norman Farmhouse near the Seine / Old Mill near Giverny / Before sunset. One of its variants, which today belongs to the collections of the National Gallery in Prague (inv. No. O 826), was exhibited at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, where it was awarded a bronze medal. Radimský liked not only this particular setting but also the village itself. It is likely Giverny in Normandy, where he moved from Barbizon to be closer to Claude Monet, a beloved artist of his, whose famous “water garden” attracted many artists from all over Europe. This location would be indicated by one of the titles, (Old Mill near Giverny), with which the variant from the National Gallery in Prague was referred to in literature, as well as the characteristic silhouette of the church and its location on a hill, similar to Radimský’s painting entitled French Village with a Church, which had been recently rediscovered and also went through the auction market. The presented work was executed at the time of the triumph of Radimský’s Prague exhibition. It was presented at the Melancholia exhibition in Kolín, 2013, in the catalogue of which it’s also reproduced (A. Rezler, ed.: Václav Radimský, 1867–1946, Melancholia, selection from works, Gallery of the Town of Kolín at the Municipal Theatre in Kolín, 25. 2. – 23. 6. 2013, Kolín 2013, fig. No. 36, cat. No. 9). With its quality and indisputable charm, it stacks up to the best contemporary French paintings of the period, and without a doubt would hold an honourable place in any important collection. Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and Mgr. M. Dospěl, Ph.D. The expertise of Mgr. P. Kubík is attached. 
Auction day 91
Auction day 91
Auction day 91
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