Four pieces of work by Cubist artist Emil Filla have been stolen from a permanent exhibition in the Czech Republic, Canvas Prints can report.
Filla, a leader in Prague’s avant-garde movement and an early Cubist painter, has hit the headlines for several reasons recently, including the theft and a record-setting auction, The Art Newspaper reports.
The theft took place in the early hours of Friday, 18th November with four works taken from the Peruc Chateau north-west of Prague. The site houses a permanent exhibition of Filla’s works and he spent several years there after the Second World War.
Curator Alica Stefancikova said the alarm system sounded at 4.04am but although police arrived within ten minutes the thieves had already fled. Fans of Filla’s work and the Cubist movement can get their hands on canvas prints much more easily, and legally.
The uninsured paintings are worth millions of Czech crowns. “We preferred to invest in the preventative protection of the collections,” Ms Stefancikova told the news provider.
They include Still Life With a Fruit Basket and Clarinet (Zatisi s klarinetem a kosikem ovoce), 1948, Woman with Picture Cards (Zena s kartami), 1946, Still Life with a fruit
bowl (Zatisi s misami ovoce), 1946, and Blind man (Slepec), 1926.
Just two days after the theft one of Filla’s works set a record as one of the 20 most expensive paintings ever sold at auction on the domestic market.
Comforter (Utesitel) went for 11 million Czech crowns, almost double the starting price, at a sale hosted by Galerie Art Praha.
The highest-priced Filla work was Still Life with a Bottle of Cherry (Zatisi slahvi Cherry), which went for 16.25 million crowns last year.
In his final mention in the news, Filla’s 1913 canvas Two Women, was returned to the Czech Republic after being seized while on loan in Vienna earlier this year.
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