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House of Art
10.00–18.00

Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna

1921

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.



BARTOŠ BŘETISLAV

(1893, Frenštát pod Radhoštěm – 1926, Dolní Mokropsy) Painter, graphic artist and journalist. From 1909 to 1914 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts under Vlaho Bukovac, Hanuš Schwaiger and Maxmilián Pirner). He was one of the founding members of the Koliba group, taking part in its first exhibition at Frenštát pod Radhoštěm (1914). Notable wartime works include the standard for the Czechoslovak Volunteer Force fighting in Italy, which was a sketch for the painting For Freedom, ceremonially unveiled on 9 April 1917. The painting itself is a monumental work that can be viewed as a reminiscence of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. Featuring four fighters as allegorical symbols of the three Czech provinces plus Slovakia, it became a manifesto for its time, and even after the war it attracted considerable attention. Bartoš’s post-war works are highly esteemed, and Czechoslovakia’s first President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk owned several of his canvases. During the post-war period Bartoš focused on social themes, inspired by the everyday lives of workers in Ostrava and the regional poet Petr Bezruč’s Silesian Songs. These experiences inspired him to create the cycles Bezruč’s Country, Black Land, Strike and Revolution (1920–1921), which rank among his key works. Bartoš viewed the lives of workers in symbolic terms, only distantly depicting actual reality. He had a Romantic notion of the heroic inner core of the worker, free and natural in his own world. This ideological concept is manifested in Bartoš’s artistic vision. If his works on social themes tend towards the heroic, his canvases depicting women and mothers are more intimate and harmonious in their conception.
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Axentowicz, Theodor / Girl in a fur

undated
Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna

Bartoš, Břetislav / Wallachian Madonna

1921
Baruch, Josef / Memory of Christmas

Baruch, Josef / Memory of Christmas

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Bednář, Daniel / Field

Bednář, Daniel / Field

2011
© 2017 Galerie výtvarného umění v Ostravě
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