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Eugeniusz Zak (Polish, 1884-1926) Young Acrobat

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American & European Works of Art - 3029B
Date / Time :
September 27, 2017 4:00PM


Eugeniusz Zak (Polish, 1884-1926)

Young Acrobat
Signed "Eug. Zak" u.l.
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 31 3/4 in. (101.0 x 81.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Scattered retouch, pinhole to center, varnish inconsistencies, craquelure.

Provenance: Private collection, Massachusetts.

Literature: Heinrich Ritter, "Eugen Zak," Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration 50, no. 1 (April 1922), pp. 2-10, ill. p. 2; Stanislaw Woznicki, "Od Malowniczosci do Linearyzmu: Sztuka i Rytm," Poludnie 3, no. 1 (1924), pp. 3-13, ill.; Barbara Brus-Malinowska, Eugeniusz Zak: 1884-1926 (Warsaw: National Museum, 2004), cat. no. 117, ill.

Exhibitions: Annual Salon, Towarzystwo Zachety Sztuk Pieknych, Warsaw, 1919, checklist no. 278.

N.B. Born in Belarus to Polish-Jewish parents, Eugeniusz Zak studied art in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts under Jean-Léon Gérôme and at the Académie Colarossi with Albert Besnard. He worked on idyllic landscapes and Arcadian scenes populated by shepherds and fishermen during this time. With the outbreak of World War I, Zak moved to Poland and painted several works similar to Young Acrobat. These paintings all depict a solemn figure in a sparse interior setting and recall Pablo Picasso's Rose and Blue Period paintings, as well as the elongated figures of Amedeo Modigliani's works. Often associated with the group of early twentieth-century artists known as the École de Paris, Zak was sure to have been familiar with the works of Picasso and Modigliani. Zak's stylized and graceful figures also bear the influence of his interest in Renaissance artists like Sandro Botticelli. Returning to Paris in 1923, Zak's works maintained the nostalgic and melancholic tone he had adopted during the war.
Estimate $40,000-60,000

Framed dimensions: 45 x 37 in.

The canvas may have been restretched onto a larger stretcher than the original. The reverse of the canvas is stamped in two places with an illegible red circular mark.
Small dots of retouch lie in the lower quadrant of the painting. There are drips of varnish at the upper left of the figure's face and at the lower right of the canvas, on the figure's hand and wrist. Areas of varnish discoloration are most noticeable on the figure's torso. The scattered areas of fine craquelure are most prominent in the lower quadrant of the canvas. Some natural pigment fluorescence is evident under blacklight examination.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Heinrich Ritter, Albert Besnard, Sandro Botticelli, Pablo Picasso, Barbara Brus-Malinowska, Blue Period, Rose Period, Paris, Returning, Warsaw, Belarus, Poland, Amedeo Modigliani, Eugeniusz Zak, Visual arts, Zak