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Emil Filla (1882–1953) Still Life with Goblet and Bananas

oil on wood panel
1927
lower right
27 × 35 cm
frame

Starting price1,500,000 CZK Final price3,120,000 CZK
89th Auction, lot 102 This visually attractive work shows the mastery and optimism of Emil Filla in one of his top creative periods when he was constantly thinking of new creative possibilities. Around 1927, Filla was one of the leading figures of the interwar art scene in Czechoslovakia; he regularly exhibited at SVU Mánes shows, attracted the audience's attention with his works, and actively absorbed inspirations from foreign art. The presented relaxed still life, in which his typical motifs of a cut glass goblet, an apple, and a bunch of bananas spread on a table are used, impresses with its simplicity of content, the bold contrasting colours, and emotional approach to the colour matter. Filla shaped each element with a black outline, which, however, does not emphasise the plasticity of the objects but rather makes the impression of a dynamic curve that flows between the objects giving them a mysterious and symbolic meaning. The fragility of the scene is emphasised by a soft pink hue, covering a large part of the background and significantly softening the hardness of this contour line. At the same time, the geometric division of the background frees concrete objects from a clearly defined space into more abstract dimensions. The work was presented at the exhibition Passions partagées, Ancien Musée de peinture de Grenoble, Grenoble, 15 September – 13 October 2001 and included in its catalogue. The authenticity of the painting was verified by the Filla Foundation and it will be listed in the inventory of the artist’s work by prof. PhDr. V. Lahoda, CSc. Assessed during consultations by Mgr. T. Donné and PhDr. R. Michalová, PhD. The expertise of PhDr. K. Srp is attached.
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