Illustration photo – Austrian painter, graphic artist and writer Oskar Kokoschka in his studio in 1956.
Prague – Oskar Kokoschka's painting Frau mit dem Sklaven (Woman and Slave) will be auctioned in Prague this afternoon with a reserve price of 200 million crowns. With such a high price, the work of art has not yet been offered at auction in the Czech Republic, and the starting price by tens of millions of crowns exceeds even the current record of the domestic auction list. Since last year, it has been held by the painting Old Prague motif by Bohumil Kubišta, which was sold for 123.6 million crowns.
Today's auction is organized by Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, the auction of selected five dozen works will start at 4:00 PM in the Expo 58 ART building in Letenské sady. The organizers selected only 52 works for it, their starting price starts at 100,000 crowns. The total starting price of the offered auction items will be 365 million crowns.
The painting Woman and Slave from 1920 presents Kokoschko's former girlfriend Alma Mahler as a slave woman and Kokoschka as a slave, according to the auction organizer, it is Kokoschko's artistic reckoning with his muse and lover. The Austrian artist had an affair between 1912 and 1914 with Mahler, the widow of the composer Gustav Mahler. This matter deeply influenced his life and work.
The most expensive work by Kokoschko that was sold at auction in the Czech Republic is the painting Prague – View from the Crusader Monastery, which was auctioned in 2019 for 78.5 million crowns and it became a Czech auction record at the time.
For 15 million crowns, today's auction will offer Bohumil Kubišta's Portrait of a Reader (Portrait of Prof. Antonín Matějček). It is a portrait from the turning point of the author, when he began his journey to Cubism. Josef Šíma's work entitled Le ciel de pierre (The Stone Sky) will be offered for 8.4 million crowns. With a price of 13.5 million crowns, Emil Filla's painting Still life with a falcon and a tray will be auctioned.