Sedlacek was born in Breslau, Poland in 1891 and in 1897 his family moved to the Austrian city of Linz. He first studied architecture before going on to study chemistry in Vienna. Throughout his life, although his studies may have varied, he continued his passion and talent for painting and drawing before co-founding an artist association in Linz.

His studies came to an halt at the break of WWI when he was called to a duty of service. On his return in 1921 he worked at Vienna's Technical Museum.

Sedlacek turned his concentration to oil painting and in 1927 he joined a group of artists includes sculptors, painters and architects who broke away from the Association of Austrian Artists. This revolutionary group was known as the Vienna Secession. The group was first formed in 1897 with Gustav Klimt as the first president. The ideology of the group was to create completely original art forms which were not constrained by the past.

Ship of fools, Sedlacek's Ship of Fools
Image via franzsedlacek.at

Although Sedlacek's work is hard to define, it can be categorised as part of the post-expressionist movement of New Objectivity, or Neue Sachlichkeit. Works like Sedlacek's from this category have a ethereal quality, and are somewhat nightmarish with strange figures and unsettling landscapes.

In 1939, Sedlacek was called up for military service in WWII, following a tour of duty in Norway and Russia, he was listed as missing in Poland in 1945.

0080 'Blüten und Insekten Nr. 3' by Franz Sedlacek

The piece on sale at Toovey's, entitled Blüten und Insekten Nr. 3, 1935 is an example of Sedlacek's exploration of fantastical flowers and insects.

Sedlacek-reverse-b Label with Vienna Secession's autumn exhibition

Sedlacek exhibited with the Secessionists and the reverse of the painting has a label indicating that the work was indeed shown at the Vienna Secession's autumn exhibition in 1935. The incredible artwork has an estimate of £50 000-80 000.

Check out Toovey's on Barnebys here.

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