Recently-discovered Toyen painting auctioned for 49 million crowns

Serenade, a 1926 painting by the Czech surrealist, was thought to be lost until it was recently rediscovered in Lebanon.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 28.11.2021 09:37 (updated on 28.11.2021) Reading time: 1 minute

Serenade, 1924 painting by Czech surrealist Toyen, was sold for 49 million crowns at an auction held by the Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery at the Expo pavilion in Prague on Saturday. The painting was long thought to be lost until it was recently re-discovered in Lebanon and exhibited in Prague earlier this month.

Serenade was produced during Toyen's rare and much-appreciated creative period that art historians call Naivism, and it was unseen by the public for nearly a century. The last time it was presented was during an exhibition in Paris in 1926.

The starting price for Serenade at the auction was ten million crowns.

Another Toyen painting, Respirations du sommeil (Respiration of Sleep), was listed at the auction for a starting price of eight million crowns and finally sold for 18.5 million, and an erotic drawing from 1932 was sold for 1.25 million crowns.

Saturday's auction offered works from the 19th century and 20th century, and also up to contemporary artists. Other works at the auction included František Kupka's On the Bank of the Marne River, an early oil painting from 1895 that was listed for 3.8 million crowns.

The auction also included works by Josef Šíma, Antonín Chittussi, Bedřich Havránek, Josef Matěj Navrátil, Antonín Slavíček, Jiří Kolář, and Běla Kolářová, directly from their own collection.

The Expo 58 building by Prague's Letná park is one of the most visible reminders of the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, where it was first exhibited.

After the expo, the pavilion was transferred to Prague, where it served as a restaurant for some time. In the 1990s, it was sold several times between private owners.

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