Artist: Emil Rizek (Austrian, 1901-1988) - well-listed, well-collected, well-loved! His high public sales price was $123,000.00. I consider this an excellent painting for possible future appreciation. Of course, you should love what you buy. The art market is such that prices and demand are unpredictable.
Title: "Market Day"
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Size: 18 by 15 inches (45.7 by38.1 cm); framed 25 3/4 by 22. 3/4 by 3 Inches
Signed: Lower right: Rizek
Condition: Unlined canvas. The work is currently placed on stretchers too large for the work. Under UV exam, there appears to be no previous restoration. Framed under glass.
Emil Rizek was the son of a Viennese electrical engineer. who wanted him to also become an engineer. Young Rizek instead took private art instruction with Anton Hlavatschek and also with Carl Fahringer, from the Viennese academy. In the 1920s Rizek traveled to Italy, France, Germany and Holland where he was associated with the “School of the Hague” a group of Dutch Impressionists.
On his first major world trip, between 1928 and 1931, Rizek traveled and painted in Indonesia. On a second trip, lasting from 1932 through 1935 he visited Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa. In 1938 taught painting in Oakland California, and also painted and etched scenes of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Rizek essentially trained himself as he traveled, and developed a personal style based in realism. Landscapes, city views and genre scenes of everyday work and life began to appear in his work. He painted the marketplace of Bali and the ports of Northern Europe with enthusiasm and talent.
Upon returning to Vienna, he joined The Vienna Artist’s Cooperative, and found himself increasingly under pressure to make his works conform to the subjects acceptable to Nazism. After being summoned to war service Rizek wrote to a friend of the “devastating psychological effect of fascism on individual mental development.” Rizek served in the Wehrmacht beginning in 1941 serving as a war artist and reporter, mainly in Finland. He was captured by the British army and spent ten months as a prisoner in Ostfriesland near the end of the war.
Rizek found it extremely difficult to return to painting after the mental trauma of war..
As he recovered, Rizek again traveled, making annual visits to Ostfriesia where he created works that show a careful observation of light. In 1963 the Artist’s Guild of Vienna awarded Rizek a special gold medal in recognition of his artistic achievements. However, his career and reputation suffered with many collectors due to his Wehrmacht service.
Thanks to the excellent Canadian Heffel Gallery for some of the information.
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