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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Josef Šíma / Pool

1935

Due to the metaphysical process of Josef Šíma’s oeuvre his paintings are unique examples of international Surrealism. Evidence of this is the painting Pool of 1935. That same year Šíma created a whole series of paintings on the theme of the pool. The canvas is vertically oriented. A definite sense of anxiety is aroused in the viewer by the depressive atmosphere of the composition and the motif of the dead tree in the middle of the scene. These emotions are aroused with reason by the artist in view of the political situation then developing in Europe with the rise of fascism. Šíma did not paint for a manipulated art public but for people with open eyes and pure hearts.

ŠÍMA JOSEF

Born at Jaroměř, Šíma is regarded as a world-class artist. To a large degree his oeuvre has been appropriated by the French, in whose country the artist lived for almost fifty years, being granted French citizenship in 1926. In 1909 he attended the Prague School of Applied Arts and then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (1912−1920) in the studios of Vlaho Bukovac and Jan Preissler. He regularly exhibited in Czechoslovakia although he most lived abroad, where he signed his paintings Joseph Sima. He managed to link the modern French and Czech art scenes, thereby moving the latter in the direction of the new artistic trends such as Surrealism and abstraction. Evidence of this was the unique exhibition at the Prague Mánes gallery entitled Poezie 32, for which he was largely responsible. Many foreign artists exhibited there, including Hans Arp, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miró. His non-figurative paintings often feature the specific symbolism of trees, crystals and cosmic eggs. His works were also influenced by the myths and legends of the ancient world.
The Hradec Králové Master / The Virgin Mary with SS Barbara and Catherine

The Hradec Králové Master / The Virgin Mary with SS Barbara and Catherine

around 1490
Marco Bello / The Holy Family with the John the Baptist as a Child and St Roch

Marco Bello / The Holy Family with the John the Baptist as a Child and St Roch

(1st decade of the 16th century)
Hans von Aachen / Job in Misfortune

Hans von Aachen / Job in Misfortune

(pre-1600)
Domenico Fetti / Adonis

Domenico Fetti / Adonis

(post 1613)
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