František Kupka painting sets new Czech auction record

Divertimento II was sold for a total of over 90 million crowns today, the highest sum ever paid at a Czech auction

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 29.11.2020 17:06 (updated on 29.11.2020)

Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) - František Kupka's abstract painting Divertimento II sold for 75.2 million crowns at an auction today, 90.24 million crowns with the auction surcharge, setting a new record for auctions in the Czech Republic.

The reservation price, the minimum price the seller would have accepted, was 30 million crowns.

The name Divertimento comes from Italian music terminology, denoting an entertaining instrumental composition.

Music largely influenced Kupka's creation, which was repeatedly transformed into a game of lines and forms in his hands.

The painting ties to Kupka's works Divertimento I, which is in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the two paintings Hot Jazz (I and II, 1935).

Kupka's works of art are among the best-selling paintings at Czech auctions. After today, there are four of them in the top ten, with another three belonging to Oskar Kokoschka and two to Toyen.

Kupka (1871-1957) is considered one of the fathers of abstract painting, along with Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Fernand Leger.

He was born in Opočno in 1871, East Bohemia, but spent most of his life in France. He died in Puteaux near Paris in 1957.

After his return from the front in the First World War, he established the Czech Colony in Paris and taught Czech scholarship holders there.

After the war, he was appointed a professor at Prague's Academy of Fine Arts (AVU), where he taught from 1920.