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2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 314

Karoly Kotasz O/C Genre Painting, Two Women Sewing

Estimate: $600 - $800

Bid Increments

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$0 $10
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$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
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Karoly Kotasz (Hungary, 1872-1941) oil on canvas painting depicting two women--possibly a mother and daughter--sewing by candlelight in an interior space, early 20th century. The light against the fabric reflects a green glow onto the face of the younger woman. Inscribed en verso "From Count Paul Esterhazy Collection Hungary / Karoly K...[illegible]." Unsigned. En verso is pasted a copy of the Benezit Dictionnaire with Kotasz entry, plus old inventory label and "Kotaszk" inscription to stretcher. With Belgian framing label and alpha-numerical inscriptions to back of frame. Housed in an ornate carved and molded gilt wood frame with c-scroll and s-scroll ornamentation. Canvas: 21 11/16" H x 19 3/4" W. Frame: 30 1/4" H x 28 1/4" W. Biography: The disabled Hungarian artist Karoly Kotasz is hardly a household name today, but during the 1920s and 30s, he was "an international phenomenon," whose talent drew comparisons to Vincent Van Gogh (Trevor Allen, 1928) and whose work was widely exhibited in Berlin, Paris, Rome, Milan, and Amsterdam. Kotasz was born into a working class family and had little prospect of higher education until a teacher showed one of his drawings to the prominent artist Gyorgy Vastagh, who helped him win a scholarship to the School of Industrial Design. Kotasz later enrolled at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich and in 1903 studied in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens at the Academie Julien. In 1928, an exhibit of 50 of his works at a Berlin gallery - mostly depicting landscapes and peasant folk in a distinctive modernist style - led to international acclaim and a slew of European exhibitions. The famous French magazine Le Figaro devoted a two page illustrated article to his work and the entry on Kotasz in the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Painters published in Paris in 1931 was nine pages long. The nature of Kotasz's disability, present from birth, remains unclear from period sources, but there are recorded instances of special accommodations being made for his limitations as a teacher of art, and his impairment seems to have deteriorated over time even as demand and prices for his work increased; he did not travel with his paintings for exhibitions. After his death, and the start of World War II, his fame waned. (Source: Nora Veszpremi, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery).

Condition

Craquelure throughout. With scattered including to retouching to younger woman's left shoulder, 3" L, to right of her hand, 3/4" L, and to lower right corner, 2 1/2" L. Frame with abrasions and gilt loss, especially to corners.

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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
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The collection of Dr. Ken and Linda Moore, acquired Gerard Antiques & Paintings, Miami Circle, Atlanta, GA in 1995 (receipt is available to the winning bidder).