Pastel with gouache on paper, 11.75 x 17 inches / Signed lower left
Dvorak was born in Prelouc, Austria (now the Czech Republic). His father, a tailor by trade, urged his artistically gifted son toward a “respectable” government career; however, the restless Dvorak resisted, and his peripatetic nature led him to Prague, then Vienna, and later Munich to study art. In Munich he set up a studio in the Bohemian Borough of Schwabing, where he painted portraits and genre scenes. His success prompted him to exhibit his works in Berlin and Vienna. In 1888, not one to stay in one place for long, he accompanied fellow painters Karel Vitezslav and Alfons Mucha to France and Italy where they painted portraits for English and American tourists. That experience led to his immigrating to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, where he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1890. Exhibitions in New York, Chicago and Detroit quickly followed. His skill as a painter led to an invitation to exhibit his paintings at the prestigious Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England. In 1905 Dvorak returned to Prague where he remained until death. Obviously classically trained, Dvorak reached beyond his training with his subject matter as this obviously captivating painting attests.