Kupka - Pisen pisni Kraska s nausnici

Piece form the cycle of illustrations of bibliophile Song of Songs (Le cantique des cantiques), Coloured woodcut on paper, two colours (1905-1909), 23,5×22,5 cm, 48,5×46,5 cm (including frame), printed signature in the left lower corner. Origin: Auction house Prague.

Exhibited at the French Institute Praha, 14.9.-3.11.2016.

The highest price achieved in auction for Kupka´s oil on canvas – 56 million CZK in the year 2012, Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, Prague.
The highest price achieved in auction for Kupka´s graphics – 8 thousand USD, Sotheby’s New York.
The highest known price for Kupka´s graphics achieved in gallery sale – 500 thousand CZK in the year 2016, Prague.

Number of preparation sketches, drawings and graphics belongs to the first Kupka´s bibliophile Song of Songs (collection of Jewish wedding songs from various times) Song of Songs was the Author´s winning order. The text and illustrations conform to the time conventions, but in spite of this, Kupka´s work is considered to have become the reform of the French book. Then naturalistic form of books Kupka rejected and turned to 18th century, he also used Art Nouveau ornament. The Author had been preparing for the illustrations thoroughly, studied the Old Testament facts through, and learnt Hebrew. Before he approached the final layout of the book, he tried many others eventualities.

This graphics presents a ceremony in which a naked exotic beauty with earing is introduced to the sovereign surrounded by plenty of servants. Kupka´s images of seductive women were true to such extent, that Marie Bruhn, Danish fashion designer with whom he had a wild affair then, offered him job in the fashion industry. This realistic scene is set in an architecture with sharp light and shadows which already indicates Kupka´s passion for later abstract research in series Four Stories of Black and White. This image – like all the others from Song of Songs – is framed by ornament about which Kupka said that its task is not to fill in the empty space, but to complement the story itself.

The individual graphics appear in Czech auction houses time to time, nevertheless very sporadically only.

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