Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna
oil, canvas, 135 × 116 cm
This is an authentic and original work by the painter Břetislav Bartoš. It represents the culmination of the artist’s mature period, and along with the paintings Black Land and Vítkovice (1920) it epitomizes his unique vision of the genius loci blending inspiration from both Wallachia and the industrial conurbation of Ostrava. Wallachian Madonna displays forms and thematic elements that are typical of Bartoš’s work. He was strongly influenced by the contemporary resurgence of interest in the Romantic spiritual tradition, national myths and Slavism in general. The painting is a symbiosis of humanity and the landscape, expressing the unity of human life and the Earth. It is dominated by a beautiful Madonna who is both a tender mother and an archetypal symbol of landscape and place. The ceremoniality and mystical function of the locus is imbued with a powerful, melodious colour scheme evoking the music of colours. This work is one of Bartoš’s finest achievements.