Czech surrealist Toyen's 'Black Paradise' sells for 32 million CZK

Recently deceased Czech pop singer Karel Gott's take on the Mona Lisa sold for more than 2 million CZK

Katrina Modrá

Written by Katrina Modrá Published on 03.12.2019 09:38:40 (updated on 03.12.2019) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague, Dec 1 (CTK) – The painting Black Paradise (1925) by surrealist Toyen was sold for 31.7 million CZK at a Prague auction on Sunday today, Terezie Kaslova, spokeswoman for the Kodl gallery that organized the auction, has told CTK.

This marks the second highest price paid for a work by Toyen in the Czech Republic. Two years ago, Twilight in the Rainforest (1929) was sold for 36 million CZK. The work was acquired by an anonymous party.

Another two works by Toyen were sold at the auction as well: the Portrait of Andre Breton which she made in the early 1950s, for 8.5 million crowns, and Nature morte cubiste for 9.7 million.

Toyen (1902-1980), born Marie Cerminova, was a Czech painter who spent most of her life in Paris.

Challenging gender constructs was the life’s work of the artist said to have described herself as the male painter Toyen but known to her avante-garde circle as the female person Marie Čermínová.

A founding member of the Czech surrealist movement, she frequently dressed like a man, expressing hedonistic motifs and the taboo of lesbian desire in a body of work that is considered an important contribution to feminist art and criticism.

She is often described as the first lady of the Czech interwar avant-garde. Her work includes “naivist” images that often feature erotic themes.

The Barge Hauler on the Volga by Ilya Repin, a key sketch for one of the most famous Russian 19th-century paintings Barge Haulers on the Volga, was auctioned for 13.2 million.

A painting by the recently deceased Czech pop singer Karel Gott was sold. His variation on the famous Mona Lisa fetched more than two million crowns.

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