Last seen in public in 1890, the painting by Józef Chełmoński titled Summer Evening had been missing for 133 years, leaving art historians, museum curators, and private collectors believing it had been lost forever.
Expected to fetch between PLN 14 and PLN 22 million, which would have made it the most expensive artwork sold in Poland, the painting by Jacek Malczewski was being prepared for auction at the DESA Unicum auction house when police and staff from the National Museum arrived.
With a guide price of PLN 18-24 million, experts say the 17th century masterpiece could be the most expensive artwork ever sold in Poland.
Entitled ‘Two Married Women’, the painting by Andrzej Wróblewski which was sold at Warsaw-based art auction house DESA Unicum, is both the most expensive painting ever sold in Poland and the most expensive overall artwork ever sold on the Polish market.
Inspired by fractals and valued at 25 million PLN, the necklace was named Julia in recognition of Gaston Julia, a French mathematician whose work described the complex process by which fractals are formed.
Entitled "Crowd III” and depicting 50 hollowed out figures made out of burlap, the art installation went for a staggering PLN 11 million, which after the hammer fee was added rose to 13.2 million.
Measuring 60.7cm x 49cm and signed on the back by the artist, the oil on board ‘Portrait of Stanisław Witkiewicz’ by Jacek Malczewski was last seen in public in 1903 in Kraków.
Entitled ‘Postać’ (Figure), the 89x89cm oil on board went for 1.6 million PLN at the Warsaw auction. After the buyer’s premium was added by the auction house the value went to 1.92 million PLN.
Of the works set for auction, the vast majority are defined by their arresting quirks and details. Samanta Belling from MAG Modern Art Gallery in Warsaw tells TFN: “The direction that Polish fantastic art has taken is thrilling and I think there’s potential for it to become known around the world.”
Depicting a scene from the legend of Krystyna – written by the chronicler Jan Długosz in the 15th century – the 35cm x 47cm oil painting shows Bishop Stanisław castigating Bolesław for adultery whilst the monarch, resplendent in his armour and finery, glares from behind a billowing curtain.
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