Coloured lithograph on paper (1899), 49×71 cm, 63×96 cm (including frame), signed in the left lower corner. Author´s dedication to Alexander Mercereau in the right lower corner. Origin: Auction House Prague.
in catalogue of Kupka Exhibition in Musée d´Orsay, Vers de temps nouveaux KUPKA ouevres graphiques 1894-1912, Paris;
in catalogue of Kupka Exhibition in Kunsthaus Zürich 1976, page 243.
Exhibited at the French Institute Praha, 14.9.-3.11.2016.
The highest price achieved in auction – 56 million CZK in the year 2012, Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, Prague.
The highest price achieved in auction for graphics – 8 thousand USD, Sotheby’s New York.
The highest known price for graphics achieved in gallery sale – 500 thousand CZK in the year 2016, Prague.
At the turn of the century, when Kupka already lived and worked in Paris, there is still echoing the Wien Art Nouveau in his work. Kupka felt very close to it because it was emphasizing ornament, not noticing the reality that much. The beginning in Paris is not easy – Kupka, to make his living, works for various magazines, draws fashion designs and posters for chanson singers on Montmartre. Although in his illustrations, satirical drawings and graphics he expresses his criticism to society and the need to lecture people about the evolution of man – he still believes that the Art must be ethical. Graphics The Fools, Biblioman and other drawings he exhibits in the year 1900 on the world exhibition in Paris in the foreign artists department – just like Alfons Mucha.
The Fools symbolize metaphor of the world of that time when the chase after success and money together with nationalistic prejudices was on. Tragicomically slogging people are watched by clowns on something similar to theatre stage. Various motifs introduce ills of the French society of that time in satirical exaggeration. This lithograph is dedicated by Kupka´s hand to French symbolism poet Alexander Mercereau (1884-1945), whom Kupka knew in person and who in the year 1914 prepared for SVU Mánes an exhibition of French Modern Art.
No similar large format graphic sheet appears in auction sale anymore.