Oil on Board Farmhouse in Winter
19" x 25"
This delightful oil painting captures the mood of a wintry day in the countryside, when the air is sharp and crisp, animals are hibernating, and light snowflakes fall from the sky. A small cottage and barn, both made of wood, are painted with loose brush strokes on the right of the composition. The background features a beautiful forest and rolling mountains. In the history of art, blue pigments suggest distance, which the artist masterfully used to create an illusion of depth as the landscape recedes. This winter landscape scene was painted by Jaroslav Holeček (1902–1953), a Czech artist who was a professor at the School of Decorative Arts in Prague. He was also the founder of the Studio of Monumental Painting and Glass, where he taught glass art in the 1940s and 1950s. The bulk of Holeček’s artworks were landscapes, which were exhibited across Europe. Holeček studied under the watchful eye of Czech painter Josef Schusser (1864–1941), whom Holeček credits as the mentor essential for his success. This peaceful image, complete with its simple composition and frosty atmosphere, is what Holeček’s work is known for. This painting will surely be a remarkable and comforting addition to any home.
At this time in Prague, the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d’état occurred in late February, resulting in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (with Soviet backing) assuming control over the country’s government. This event marked the beginning of four decades of communist rule in the country, continuing until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The coup profoundly shocked Western countries, as it was the loss of the last remaining democracy in Eastern Europe. Today, the event is seen as a clear marker along the already rapidly advancing road towards the Cold War.