Motivo Dalmata by Zoran Antonio Music – £26,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

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Motivo Dalmata by Slovenian artist Zoran Antonio Music (1909-2005) was part of his series of works inspired by his memories of living in the mountains of Dalmatia. It featured his trademark use of flattened space and forms depicted in a soft palette.

Dating from 1953, the 18in x 2ft (46 x 61cm) signed oil on canvas was painted the year after he had his first major solo exhibition at the Galerie de France in Paris, before he settled in the French capital the following year.

Music was born in the Italian town of Gorizia, on the border with Slovenia, and studied at the Academy of Arts in Zagreb. Although he lived in Spain and Venice in the 1930s-40s, he returned to his homeland but was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and sent to Dachau concentration camp, an experience he depicted in his later art.

After the war he continued to paint prolifically and examples of his work have been sold at auctions in many countries, some making strong five-figure and even six-figure sums. The picture at Chiswick had been in a private British collection since the 1960s and was estimated at £12,000-18,000 on June 29. Selling at £26,000, it made the second-highest price for the artist at auction this year, only behind the €65,000 (£55,745) for a slightly earlier painting from the Motivo Dalmata series sold at Farsetti in Italy in June.

Contorted figures


Composition 1065 by Jerzy Duda-Gracz – £9500 at Chiswick Auctions.

Also catching the eye was a monochrome painting by Polish artist Jerzy Duda-Gracz (1941-2004). Born in Częstochowa, the artist studied at Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, later becoming a tutor there before being appointed a professor at the University of Silesia.

Composition 1065 was a 21 x 17¾in (53 x 45cm) oil on board from 1986 that featured his trademark contorted figures although without the tonal colouring found in many other examples. It had originally been exhibited at the Art Cologne fair and had been acquired by a German collector who was a member of the vendor’s family.

Estimated at £800-1200, it drew a good competition and was knocked down at £9500, one of the highest sums for a work by the artist ever sold outside his homeland (source: Artprice by Artmarket).