Drypoint with aquatint, 1935, 22,8 cm x 17 cm, Denoted left bottom: E. F. in oval
Signed right bottom: Emil Filla
The highest achieved price for oil on canvas by Emil Filla on the Czech auction market: 19.5 million CZK, Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery, Prague, 2010
The highest achieved price for oil on canvas by Emil Filla on the world auction market: 588 thousand €, Sotheby’s, 2011
The motif of a woman holding a boxer puppy on her lap was used by Filla in total on three graphic folios. These women in their shape and space layout foundation and in the layout and contours of the matter come out of the basic type of Madonna of Mercy, representing Beautiful Madonna Style of the Bohemian Gothic.
The closed flat shape, later concave relief, closed plastic pyramidal contour, its release form the outer environment and space and its print on the absolute abstract surface, is really similar to the Beautiful Bohemian Gothic Madonna. Only, Filla´s Madonna full of tenderness and mercy images have, instead of the golden background, the white background, and on their lap, they tenderly hold a little boxer puppy instead of a little Jesus.
Filla deposited into this woman with a dog on her lap all his pantheistic love to an animal – the dog. To this dog, during the six years of imprisonment in the concentration camp, Filla spoke long lonely monologues about the Man, about the fate of men, about the fathomless measure of humiliation and inhuman suffering that can be caused to the man and to the animal by a human being only. Graphics of these „dog Madonnas“ carry in themselves as the omen of the evil times a new graphic order, where the linear style is replaced by the plastic form. The contour line does not abstractly highlight the whole inner volume anymore. This volume is now painted with phenomenon completeness of the painting tools of aquatint. At the same time, the painter’s picture of shape is replaced by the purely sculptural picture, where the extremely concave shape is in the true meaning of this word carved into the metal desk by the point of the slate-pencil as if it was the sculptor´s pickaxe. This sculptural style will soon be elaborated in the cycle “Fights and struggles”.
Čestmír Berka: Emil Filla, grafické dílo, Odeon 1968, pages: 60-61, 280.
22,8 cm x 17 cm