Lot 60
Jan Václav Mrkvička (1856 - 1938) PORTRAIT OF BORIS III.

1895
Oil on canvas
31,5 x 23 cm (h x w)
Signed: Lower left "I Mrkvička 1895"

Starting price
110 000 CZK
   |   4 400 €
Price realized
650 000 CZK
   |   26 000 €
price without premium

Czech-born painter Ivan Mrkvička (Bulgarian: Иван Мърквичка) is regarded as one of the founders of the modern Bulgarian painting. He contributed to the artistic life of Bulgaria, newly liberated from Turkish domination, in the late 19th and early 20th century. Born in the village of Vidim near Dubá, he studied at the academies in Prague and Munich. Mrkvička came to Plovdiv in 1881 upon the invitation by the then-Eastern Rumelian government.  He worked as a teacher of draftsmanship at a high school, cooperating with the most important cultural figures in the city: Ivan Vazov, Konstantin Velichkov, Petko Karavelov and Petko Slaveykov. Mrkvička settled in Sofia in 1889 and was one of the founders of the National Academy of Arts in 1896. A master of classic painting and drawing techniques, his most significant achievements are in scenes of everyday life, although he also worked in the historic painting genre and is the author of many high-quality portraits (including Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and the tsaritsa, Princess Eleonore). One of the creators of the coat of arms of Bulgaria and the coat of arms of Sofia, he became a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1918. The painting comes from the property of doctor doc. MUDr. Václav Skalák, whose father was born in Sofia and worked at the court of Ferdinand I. and befriended with Ivan Mrkvička. Boris III. was born in 1894, so he is 1 year old in the portrait.

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