Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction

Photo: archive of Kodl Art Gallery

As tributes to the late Czech singer Karel Gott pour in from at home and abroad following news of his death on Wednesday, the Kodl Art Gallery in Prague has announced it is putting one of the singer’s paintings up for action. Although Karel Gott was an amateur, self-taught painter interest in it is expected to be huge.

Photo: archive of Kodl Art Gallery
Karel Gott’s 2001 painting depicting Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa having a glass of wine in a café is due to be put up for auction at the Kodl Art Gallery in December and, in light of the singer’s death, interest in it as a collector’s item is expected to be enormous.

Karel Gott, who was a Czech mega-star, painted since early childhood and even dreamed of becoming a painter. When he failed to pass the entrance exams to the Prague Art Academy he followed his other passion – music. However painting remained a hobby throughout his life and Gott himself was a passionate art collector.

The singer said on many occasions that painting was a passion and a form of relaxation and the fact that he wasn’t financially dependent on it gave him the freedom to paint as he wanted.

“In painting I do not like and I do not aim for the kind of perfection that you have in a photograph. What I like about painting is that it allows you to let your imagination run free. If I want to paint Mona Lisa having a glass of wine in a café, then I do so and I don’t have to worry about whether it will sell, because I do not plant to sell it” Gott said during one of the many exhibitions of his work that he organized.

Gott either kept his paintings or gave them to friends from the arts world, who were happy to get a painting by the hugely popular singer. Those paintings which somehow or other ended up on the art market were quickly snapped up by fans. His painting of Pavarotti in Prague’s Lucerna Hall is in a private collection in Germany.

Last year the Kodl Art Gallery in Prague put his 2004 painting of the famous film stars of the First Republic Oldřich Nový and Anna Ondráková up for auction and it sold for 1.4 million crowns.

His Mona Lisa is expected to surpass that. The starting price will be 350,000 crowns.