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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Jan Zrzavý / Ostrava Slag Heaps II

1933

The painting Ostrava Slag Heaps II is one of several variations on the subject. Zrzavý’s other works on a similar theme are in The Prague Municipal Gallery, The East Bohemian Gallery in Pardubice and in private collections. These steep idealised cones that are set in a stylised, mysteriously inhospitable and sinister setting sum up the heroic and tragic fate of that landscape. Zrzavý sketched those visions on the spot and the final work was created in his Paris studio, inspired by his own world of imagination.

ZRZAVÝ JAN

Zrzavý took private lessons in painting with František Ženíšek before attending the School of Applied Art in Prague (1907−1909), where he was taught by Vlaho Bukovac. He then transferred to the Prague Academy of Fine Arts but did not complete his course. In 1912 he exhibited with the Sursum group and six years later he became a founding member of the Tvrdošíjní (The Stubborn) group of artists. From 1913 to 1923 he was a member of the Mánes artists’ association. He travelled around Britanny and visited Venice, returning there many times. He discovered many remarkable locations in his own country, among which the city of Ostrava occupied an important place. Over the centuries of Ostrava’s industrial development the slag that was mined with the coal was piled into huge hill-like heaps at the surface, creating an unusual landscape that became a favourite subject of artists like Ferdiš Duša, Vladimír Kristin, Vilém Wünsche, Stanislav Kolíbal, Svatoslav Böhm, or Viktor Kolář and Miloš Polášek. Jan Zrzavý was one of that galaxy of painters; he became enthused by the pit heaps of Ostrava in 1932 when he exhibited at the House of Art.
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The Hradec Králové Master / The Virgin Mary with SS Barbara and Catherine

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Hans von Aachen / Job in Misfortune

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Domenico Fetti / Adonis

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