Toyen – Tous les éléments (Les quatre éléments)  by Gandalf
Painted in 1950, Tous les éléments is a rare and notable painting by Toyen (1902 – 1980), who was the founder of the Czech Surrealist group, as well as a member of the international Surrealist movement. Having studied at the School of Applied Arts in her native Prague, from the mid-1920s Toyen (Marie Cermínová) made occasional trips to Paris, where she met André Breton, Paul Eluard and other Surrealist artists and writers. In 1947 Toyen travelled to Paris on the occasion of an exhibition of her work organised by the Denise René gallery; the exhibition was held during the summer of that year and the introduction to the catalogue was written by Breton. In view of the political situation in her country Toyen decided to stay in France, where she became a member of the Paris Surrealist group, participating in many group exhibitions as well as private events.
[Sotheby’s. London – Oil on canvas, 70.8 x 106.5 cm]