Record Knüpfer at Auction Again

Beneš Knüpfer: Duel of the Tritons in London

A canvas more than two metres wide by the Czech painter Beneš Knüpfer is one of the items at the May auction of the 19th century European art in London. According to the catalogue, it is the painting of the famous motif Duel of the Tritons, exhibited in 1892 at the Jubilee World Exposition. The painting was already auctioned two decades ago and the price it fetched then, USD 31,000, still remains the artist’s global auction record.

Beneš Knüpfer: Duel of the Tritons / oil on canvas / 109,2 x 223,8 cm / Estimate: 25-35 000 GBP / Christie's 2. 5. 2014
Beneš Knüpfer: Duel of the Tritons / oil on canvas / 109,2 x 223,8 cm / Estimate: 25-35 000 GBP / Christie's 2. 5. 2014

 

Knüpfer was one of the last representatives of late romanticism and naturalistic sensualism in Czech art at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The complicated life of the artist known for his paintings of the sea and mythical creatures was affected by many twists, coincidences and fateful encounters. He spent over thirty years in Italy, and the coastal landscapes near Anzio on the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea and near Ancona on the Adriatic Sea were the settings for his works.

In the Czech auction environment, Knüpfer is one of the more frequently auctioned artists. His Czech record was broken for the last time this January by the canvas On the Way from Prayers, which sold for CZK 690,000. However, the work offered on May 2 in the Sotheby’s auction catalogue is exceptional due to its format and provenance. Knüpfer’s canvas with the motif of Duel of the Tritons (110 x 224 cm), according to the information from the catalogue, comes from the New York collection of Jan Klein, from which it was first sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 1997. At that time, the pre-auction estimate was USD 25,000–USD 35,000 and it sold for USD 31,000 including fees, which was then roughly CZK 1.1 million. This amount remains Knüpfer’s world auction record until today.

Now the same painting is to be auctioned with an estimate of USD 25,000–USD 35,000, which, however, is a little less at today’s exchange rate than seventeen years ago. It is not clear whether it will exceed its starting auction price.

It is interesting that Knüpfer was awarded an Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria Gold Medal in 1892 at the Chicago World’s Fair for a painting with the same motif as Duel of the Tritons. Allegedly, this work was purchased by Emperor Franz Joseph I for 5,500 guldens for his collections in the Picture Gallery of the Vienna Museums. The painting offered at Sotheby’s will therefore be another variation by the artist. Coastal scenes with sirens and naiads were probably the artist’s most popular motif. Up to twenty various small studies of this motif appeared only on the Czech market.

However, the canvas Duel for a Naiad, offered two years ago by Meissner-Neumann, probably another variation by the artist of the same work, stands out among them. It has remarkably similar dimensions and approach to the motif as the London work. However, one can see differences in the colours and signature even from a smaller reproduction. Whereas the London variation is signed “Benes Knüpfer/ROMA”, the Meissner-Neumann variation is just “B.K.”. It did not sell for the starting price of CZK 300,000 in Prague.

Beneš Knüpfer: Duel for a Naiad / oil on canvas / 113,5 x 224 cm / Meissner - Neumann 27. 5. 2012 / unsold
Beneš Knüpfer: Duel for a Naiad / oil on canvas / 113,5 x 224 cm / Meissner - Neumann 27. 5. 2012 / unsold

 


Související články

Kupkova mašinistická Danae si troufá na rekord

Kupkova mašinistická Danae si troufá na rekord

Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, 21. 4. 2024

Obraz Početí/Danae vytvořený kolem roku 1930 by se mohl stát nejdražším dílem Františka Kupky, který se kdy prodal na tuzemských aukcích. Dražit se začne na 85 milionech korun bez aukční provize. Tu po dohodě s majitelem aukční síň snížila na 10 proc...

11. dubna 2024
Galerijní Eva Kmentová online

Galerijní Eva Kmentová online

Artslimit 24. 3. 2024

Monumentálnější plastiky Evy Kmentové se na trhu téměř nevyskytují. Nyní jde do aukce doposud největší autorčina realizace, práce na zakázku státního podniku z roku 1968.

21. března 2024
Trojúhelníky a sopky Viktora Pivovarova

Trojúhelníky a sopky Viktora Pivovarova

Aukční dům Sýpka 17. 3. 2024

Teprve třetí malbu domácího aukčního trhu vytvořenou moskevským rodákem Viktorem Pivovarovem, který již více než 40 let žije a tvoří v Praze, nabídne ve své nedělní sálové aukci společnost Sýpka. Realizaci z 90. let minulého století začne dražit na č...

15. března 2024
Zobrazit všechny

Další články

Další články autora

Tizianovi bych už nové interpretace nepřál

Tizianovi bych už nové interpretace nepřál

14. června 2016

Retromuseum je kvalitativní skok

Retromuseum je kvalitativní skok

25. května 2016

Loučení s Prahou i láskami

Loučení s Prahou i láskami

1. května 2016


<