published: 09.03.2013, 17:51 | updated: 09.03.2013 18:00:25
Prague - A study for one of the 20 paintings of the Slavic Epic by Czech art-nouveau painter Alfons Mucha was sold for four million crowns at a Dorotheum auction in Prague today, which is probably the highest price a Mucha work has fetched in the Czech Republic, expert Jan Nizky told CTK.
The sold work is a study for the Introduction of the Slavic Liturgy in Great Moravia.
The starting price was 1.9 million crowns. The four million crowns purchase price is without the auction surcharge.
The Slav Epic is administered by the National Gallery in Prague and it is very little probable that the collection of large paintings would ever get on the free market.
The series is on display in Prague´s Veletrzni Palace (Trade Fairs Palace).
According to Dorotheum, to gain a study by Mucha (1860-1939) is an exceptional opportunity for collectors.
The auction organisers said experts only know of two studies that Mucha created before he painted the Slav Epic.
One of them was sold in the United States years ago, the other was auctioned off today.
Nizky, Dorotheum´s plastic arts expert, said the price was no surprise because it is a really important work.
"Such a large oil painting by Alfons Mucha has not yet probably been on the Czech market, besides it is a study for the famous Slav Epic," he said.
Nizky said the price of 8.5 million crowns (without the auction surcharge) that the female nude Birth of Aphrodite by Russian painter Konstantin Makovski (1839-1915) fetched at the auction today is no surprise either.
The painting was most probably bought by a Russian-speaking bidder who was following the auction by phone, Nizky said.
He said Russian authors have of late been keeping high prices not only at foreign, but also Czech auctions.
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