About this artwork

This was the first painting Kokoschka completed in London, after fleeing Czechoslovakia in 1938. Painted from memory, it features the famous view of Prague with the old Charles Bridge and cathedral in the background. The pair of lovers near the shore is thought to be Kokoschka and his future wife Olda. In a reference to Kokoschka's emigration, the couple are being beckoned into a boat. A face resembling that of Kokoschka is displayed on the billboard to the right. In this painting the artist is expressing his grief for the loss of his home country.

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  • title:
    Prague, Nostalgia
  • accession number:
    GMA 4322
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1938
  • measurements:
    56.00 x 76.00 cm (framed: 74.90 x 95.30 x 7.60 cm)
  • credit line:
    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2000
  • copyright:
    © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/ DACS 2018.
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka

Kokoschka studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna from 1905 to 1909, where he also worked for the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Workshops). Although his early work was part of the 'art nouveau' movement in Vienna, he soon developed into Austria's leading expressionist painter, specialising in disturbing psychological portraits. After being invalided out of the army during the First World War, Kokoschka was based mainly in Dresden until 1923. He travelled until 1930, and from 1931 to 1934 returned to live in his native Vienna. In 1934 he moved to Prague, where he took out Czech citizenship. After the Munich Agreement of September 1938, he was forced to flee to London with his future wife, Olda Palkovska. He became a British citizen in 1947, and lived mainly in Switzerland after 1953.