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Václav Brožík (1851–1901) Cows in the Pasture

oil on canvas
circa 1890
lower right
101 × 140 cm
frame

Starting price1,000,000 CZK Final price2,040,000 CZK
89th Auction, lot 192 Art lovers, collectors, and admirers of Václav Brožík’s work know him as an exceptional painter of large historical scenes but also as an excellent genre artist and portraitist. He is less known to the general public as a representative of animal painting, a unique discipline in the 19th century which had dedicated specialists (e.g. Constant Troyon and Rosa Bonheur). The presented canvas can thus be an even greater surprise. On a broad plain with lush grass crossed by a stream, Brožík depicted well-kept cattle captured with zoological precision. From the pages of the cultural periodical Zlatá Praha [Golden Prague], we can borrow a commentary on another Brožík’s painting, which is, however, also suitable here: “...each cattle is a real magnificent ʽstudyʼ in terms of individual conception and execution...”. The author of the commentary well captured the essential fact that Brožík did not create general types in the animal genre but used his portrait experience and approached each piece of cattle and its depiction based on a specific observation. He repeatedly painted small herds of cows since the 1880s in connection with frequent stays at his father-in-law’s château d'Ambleville and in Brittany and presented them to the Czech audience through reproductions in the magazines Světozor and Zlatá Praha and the Prague exhibitions of Krasoumná jednota [Fine Arts Union]. Brožík depicted cows completely freely with plein air lightness and an academic sense of detail, composition, and form. The painting Cows in the Pasture belongs precisely to those representative paintings where, in addition to the cattle themselves, their environment is also constructed faithfully, with perfect perspective, spatial depth and sense of light and a tangible atmosphere arousing the beholder’s desire to step directly into the picture. This excellent high-value work can be an ornament to any quality art collection. It was once part of the collections of the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Gottwaldov (Zlín, inv. no. O 32), as evidenced by the labels on the reverse. Assessed during consultations by prof. PhDr. R. Prahl, CSc., and Mgr. M. Dospěl, PhD. The expertise of PhDr. Š. Leubnerová is attached.
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