A painting by Mikuláš Medek, one of the leading Czech modernist painters, sold for 46 million crowns at an auction in Prague on Thursday. The oil on canvas, called Action I (Egg), has become the artist’s most expensive work of art ever sold at an auction. Bidding for painting started at eight million crowns.
A work by Czech painter František Kupka, a pioneer of the abstraction
movement and master of symbolism, sold at auction on Sunday for 78 million
The painting, entitled Plochy příčné II (Diagonal Surfaces II), had been in a private collection. The auction house catalogue had estimated the sale price at 40-60 million crowns.
Auctioneers say the painting is a pure example of geometric abstraction and among his most important works, a counterpart of which is in the Czech National Gallery collection in Prague.
The buyer's identity unknown. Kupka's paintings have been the most expensive to be auctioned in Prague for several years now.
The annual nationwide Festival of Museum Nights, during which museums and cultural institutions around the country organize special events and late-night opening hours for visitors, is traditionally preceded by a gala ceremony at which the Czech Association of Museums and Galleries hands out Gloria Musaealis awards in different categories. The award ceremony took place in Prague’s Municipal House on Thursday night and carried a special significance for the winners.
This May marks the centenary of the birth of Ladislav Sitenský, among the most celebrated Czech photographers of the 20th century. He’s perhaps best known today for his iconic World War II work documenting the Nazi occupation of his homeland and lives of his fellow servicemen in the RAF’s Czechoslovak 312th squadron. But for over seven decades, Sitenský – who was also an accomplished sportsman, essayist and novelist – lovingly turned his lens to the people and architecture of Prague and other European capitals.
How did the working poor live in Prague during the Austro-Hungarian Empire? In the days of the democratic First Czechoslovak Republic? Under Communism? And what about the homeless of today? Two separate yet complementary exhibitions now at the City of Prague Museum take a novel approach to presenting the capital’s often forgotten, overlooked or unknown history of poverty and homelessness.
A rediscovered painting by one of the leading Czech modernist painters, Jan
Zrzavý, has sold for 5.8 million crowns at an auction in Prague on
Saturday. The 1938 oil on canvas, called ‘Landscape in Brittany’, was
part of a private collection and has been hidden from view for several
decades. Bidding for the painting began at 3.8 billion crowns.
So far the most expensive painting by the painter, sold at a Czech auction, is entitled ‘Calvary in Locronan’, auctioned off in 2017 for more than 17 million crowns.
The heads of twelve foreign museums and galleries have written an open
letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš expressing shock and dismay at the
sacking of the head of the Prague National Gallery Jiří Fajt.
The heads of national galleries and cultural institutions in Europe and the US say that Fajt was instrumental in boosting cooperation among art institutions and raised the prestige of the National Galley in Prague.
They say his work has served as an inspiration for galleries elsewhere in the world. Fajt was sacked by the Czech culture minister last week following an in-depth audit at the gallery.
Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has dismissed the head of Prague’s
National Gallery Jiří Fajt and the head of the Museum of Art in Olomouc,
At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister of Culture said his
decision was made on the basis of an audit carried out in the institutions.
He said he had lost faith in the directors’ ability to efficiently manage
the institutions’ budgets.
Mr Staněk has also filed two criminal charges against Mr Fajt over an allegedly suspicious CZK 1.2 million contract and lease agreement. The chief post at Prague’s National Gallery will be temporarily filled by Ivan Morávek.
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