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  • Watercolour on paper
  • 16 x 20 inches
  • Signed
  • Untitled by artist
  • Undated: circa 1980
  • Condition: slight fading and acid burn from old mat

The Artist: Jan Burka (Czech, 1924-2009)

 Jan Burka was born in Postoloprty, Czechoslovakia. After studying art and spending time in Prague, he was sent to Theresienstadt in 1942. After the war, he moved to Amsterdam where he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and worked as a graphic artist. In 1951, he moved to Toronto and studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCADU). His work is held in private collections and museums in Europe, Canada and the United States. Burka is listed in the Canadian Heritage Information Network of Canadian artists. Some of his drawings are held in the Ontario Jewish Archives. Burka moved back to Europe and resided in southern France.

The Story: A holocaust survivor, Burka met his future wife Ellen Danby. After the war, they settled in Amsterdam. Ellen, a Dutch figure skater, won a national completion in 1946 in The Hague, and competed in the World Championships and the Olympic Games. She became a Canadian skating coach. Their marriage and life together in Canada did not last.

A wonderfully wild and exotic being, this painting is hauntingly beautiful.  

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Item No. CA201608047