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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Valentin Držkovic / Coal Gleaner

1929

Držkovic drew the preparatory sketches for the cycle — which includes the Coal Gleaner — before he left for France. He sketched the figures on the coal tip behind the municipal theatre (now the area of Black Meadow). He completed the cycle in Paris, where his wife Anuška modelled for him. Paris was enthralled by the scenery of Ostrava with its unique social bedrock full of poverty and human suffering, evidence of which is the fact that at the Salon des Indépendants Držkovic was awarded the painting prize out of several hundred contenders. Sadly he never returned to Paris. Over the years the quality of his work changed and was never to attain the success he had achieved among the French.

DRŽKOVIC VALENTIN

In accordance with his parents’ wishes that he become a priest Držkovic graduated from a seminary in 1912, but he was destined to follow a different course. He studied painting, drawing and graphic art from 1912 to 1923 in Vienna, Karlsruhe and Berlin. In 1925 he decided to go to Paris in search of fresh ideas and while there he finally discovered his own means of artistic expression. He was so taken by Paris that he made a further trip a few years later. During his stay in Paris in 1929−1932 Držkovic painted his best known series of paintings Slag Heaps, whereby he introduced Paris to the Ostrava region. As the artist himself recalled: “I reflected on what I could show at the Salon des Indépendants. Paint something from our part of the world, in a manner in which it has not been treated in art yet. I always wanted to remain myself as a painter and eliminated all imitation from my work. And then it occurred to me to paint black coal tips. Paint a cycle of paintings of Ostrava coal tips!”
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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