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Emil Filla (1882–1953) Still Life with Lemons

mixed media (oil, sand) on canvas
1948
lower left
38 × 46 cm
frame

Starting price2,500,000 CZK Hammer price3,000,000 CZK
89th Auction, lot 162 The presented still life is one of Emil Filla’s optimistic post-war paintings of a fresh colour range, presenting this artist as a skilful colourist. We can consider this artwork a summary of many years of his painting experience and the impatiently awaited opportunity to start creating again after a pause caused by the hardships of war. Filla executed the popular and often varied subject matter of a still life with a vase of colourful flowers and a tray with fruit with increased confidence and an extended range of vehicles of expression based on his mastery in drawing and work with colour. This allowed him to create very compact-looking compositions in new and unexpected contexts without limitations. Thanks to this revision of the visual language and extraordinary cultural open-mindedness, he managed to create impressive paintings understandable to the beholders, which he considered the only correct way to bring art closer to people, and the key to understanding the visual arts of the time. The inclination towards modern forms of expression based on primitivism and fauvism did not completely deprive his canvases of a distinctive cubist influence, but the metaphysical heaviness of his early works receded into the background and gave space to a relaxed, diversely rich brushwork. An important feature is an outline, passing between individual objects and shapes, giving them the essential impressive liveliness and energy. Filla substantially flattened the entire painting, but thanks to the sand mixed into the colours, he emphasised the structure of the substance, which fully replaced the absent volume. The authenticity of the work was verified by the Filla Foundation and it is listed in the inventory of works prepared by prof. V. Lahoda, CSc. It comes from a high-quality Prague collection. Assessed during consultations by PhDr. R. Michalová, Ph.D., and Mgr. T. Donné. The expertise of PhDr. K. Srp is attached.
Auction day 91
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Auction day 91
Results of the 90th auction
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