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Auction Description for MacDougall's: Russian Art Auction
Sale Notes:
www.invaluable.com/macdougallauction

Russian Art Auction (226 Lots)

by MacDougall's


226 lots with images

November 30, 2016

Live Auction

London, United Kingdom

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§KALMAKOV, NIKOLAI  (1873-1955)

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Description: §KALMAKOV, NIKOLAI (1873-1955) Chinese Man, signed with a cipher and dated 1943. Pencil and gouache on paper, 31 by 23.5 cm (image size). Provenance: Collection of Count Georges Martin du Nord, Paris. Russian Paintings, Sotheby’s London, 10 June 2008, lot 189. Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner. Thence by descent. Private collection, Europe.

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CHOULTSE, IVAN  (1874-1939)

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Description: CHOULTSE, IVAN (1874-1939) Étang dans le parc, Versaille, signed, further titled on the stretcher. Oil on canvas, 38 by 46 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With Galerie Gérard Frères, Paris, 1925. Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20 February 1942. Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner. Private collection, Europe. Acquired from the above by the previous owner in Zürich in March 2009. Private collection Europe. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov. Exhibited: Exposition Ywan F. Choultse, Galerie Gérard Frères, Paris, 23 November–15 December 1925, No. 14.

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*LEBEDEV, KLAVDY  (1852-1916)

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Description: *LEBEDEV, KLAVDY (1852-1916) Portrait of a Boyar Woman, signed and dated 1913. Oil on canvas, 60.5 by 49 cm. Provenance: Private collection, Japan. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.Portrait of a Young Boyar Woman, offered here for auction, is the quintessence of the art of Klavdy Lebedev, a remarkable Russian painter of historical scenes. The half-length portrait of a girl in traditional Russian costume further contributes to the subject that was central to the artist’s work in the 1870s and 1880s, namely, the daily life in pre-Petrine Russia. A talented genre painter, Lebedev could not stay aside as the surge of interest in national history seized Russian science — particularly, archeology, — as well as theatre, literature and art. While still a student at the Imperial Academy of Arts, he chose once and for all his main artistic subject — scenes from the life of the boyars (the old Russian nobility). One of Lebedev’s earliest works was Young Boyar at the Table (1880), followed by Boyar Girl Leaving Church (1881). Then, in 1883, he painted Boyar Wedding, which brought him wide acclaim. The work was exhibited at the 12th Itinerant Exhibiton, where it was very favourably received by both the general public and art critics, including the formidable Vladimir Stasov. The public were particularly impressed by the accuracy and vivacity, with which Lebedev depicted various personalities from the 16th and 17th centuries; in Stasov’s words, they were “grasped and expressed ingeniously”. By the time Lebedev painted Portrait of a Young Boyar Woman he had become an established and much esteemed historical painter, while the genre of “boyar girls’ heads” had gained great popularity. Postcards of with reproductions of Lebedev’s and Konstantin Makovsky’s pictures of this genre sold in astronomical quantities all over Russia, and Lebedev was constantly commissioned to do illustrations for various publications devoted to the life and times of the Russian Tsars of the 16th and 17th centuries. However, while Makovsky’s works resemble charming illustrations to Alexei Tolstoy’s Prince Serebryany and Potok-Bogatyr, or they can be seen as an embodiment of some ideal female type with a then-popular “national expression”, Lebedev’s portraits of boyar girls and women not only exhibit historically accurate details (gowns embroidered with pearls and trimmed with fur, gold-woven hats, earrings, necklaces and bracelets), but are invariably subtle psychological portraits. The present lot brilliantly illustrates this point: the fancy attire is just a facade that reveals a masterfully executed touching image of a young girl, spontaneous yet engrossed in her demanding social role. Although highly decorative, the colours, instead of enhancing the theatrical aspect of the composition, emphasise instead the very face of the model, thus allowing to fully appreciate Lebedev’s outstanding gift as a portraitist.

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KISELEV, ALEXANDER  (1838-1911)

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Description: KISELEV, ALEXANDER (1838-1911) By a Pond, signed and dated 1881. Oil on canvas, 68 by 52 cm. The present lot is a version of the eponymous 1881 painting currently in the collection of the V.P. Sukachov Irkutsk Regional Art Museum. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov. Authenticity has also been confirmed by the experts G. Churak and A. Makhotina.

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BOGDANOV-BELSKY, NIKOLAI  (1868-1945)

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Description: BOGDANOV-BELSKY, NIKOLAI (1868-1945) In the Church, singed. Oil on canvas, 102.5 by 91.5 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the grandfather of the previous owner in the 1940s. Thence by descent. Russian Art Evening, Sotheby’s London, 30 November 2009, lot 235. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, Europe. Related literature: For another version of the present lot, see Segodnia, No. 87, 27 March 1932. Z. Ligers, Bogdanoff-Belsky, Leben und Werk des russischen Malers, Riga, 1943, p. 14, illustrated in black and white. The work will be included in the monograph on the artist being prepared by A. Kuznetsov.

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*TROPININ, VASILY  (1776-1857)

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Description: *TROPININ, VASILY (1776-1857) Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat, signed, inscribed in Cyrillic "Moskva" and dated 1847. Oil on canvas, 76.5 by 61 cm. Provenance: Private collection, New York. With Hammer Galleries, New York, from c. 1956 (label on the backing board). Donated to the Library of Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, c. 1959. Acquired from the above by the previous owner in 2005. Thence by descent. Private collection, USA. Vasily Tropinin is rightfully considered to be the “patriarch” of the Moscow school of painting. He produced more than 3,000 portraits in the course of a long creative life and his models came from a variety of social classes in the old Russian capital, including representatives of the aristocracy and long-established gentry (the Samarin, Obolensky, Panin, Zubov, Voeikov, Mosolov and Ladyzhensky families). Members of Moscow’s “millionairemerchant” families, such as the Kiselevs and Sapozhnikovs, were also among his sitters, and the subject of the portrait, which is now offered for sale, most probably came from the milieu of the capital’s merchants and honoured citizens, as evidenced by his clothes and hairstyle. The Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat dates from the artist’s mature period, when he discovered his own distinctive style of painting. The space in this chamber-style, half-height portrait and the positioning of the figure obey a definite scheme. The image created by the portraitist draws the eye by the sharpness of character and observation. The face of the unknown subject is not young, but its expression is not of a man ravaged or broken by life. It expresses the heartfelt sincerity and harmonic integrity that are the hallmarks of Tropinin the portraitist. The absence of Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat from the list of Tropinin’s works (the fullest to date) compiled by Alexandra Amshinskaya (Moscow, 1970) is explained by the painting’s history. It was taken out of Russia in the middle of the 20th century and has long been in private ownership, so it was unknown to Russian art historians. Acquaintance with the work broadens our understanding of the art of Vasily Tropinin. We are grateful to Dr Liudmila Markina for providing additional catalogue information. Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat, offered for auction, is a typical work from Vasily Tropinin’s mature period, when the artist had reached an unparalleled mastery in combining physical resemblance with an idealization of the image. The half-height, nearly life-size figure of the sitter fills the entire canvas. The artist focuses exclusively on the subject, whom he places against a neutral background, completely omitting the elements of interior, yet scrupulously recording the tiniest details of the man’s stylish civilian attire. This documentary approach lends the image an illusory veracity, and this effect is reinforced by the linear-sculptural treatment of form, a combination of clearly delineated contour and densely applied brushstrokes. But at the same time, this portrait, like many other works by Tropinin, is a collective image, embodying the artist’s conception of an ideal type of Moscow gentry. Until 1959, Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat hung in the gallery of Armand Hammer, famous American businessman and collector. Then, it was gifted to Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where it adorned the wall of the University library until the beginning of the 21st century.

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LAGORIO, LEV  (1827-1905)

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Description: LAGORIO, LEV (1827-1905) Bathing in Crimea, signed and dated 1891. Oil on canvas, 97.5 by 127. Provenance: Private collection, Europe. Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov. Exhibited: Possibly, Vystavka kartin russkikh khudozhnikov v Obshchestve liubitelei khudozhestv, Dom Vasilievoi-Shilovskoi, Moscow, 25 May–10 September 1891. Literature: Possibly, exhibition catalogue, Katalog kartin russkikh khudozhnikov na vystavke v Obshchestve liubitelei khudozhestv, Moscow, 1891, No. 83, listed as Kupanie v Krymu. Bathing in Crimea is a unique work by Lev Lagorio, the outstanding Russian painter of marine and military subjects. It is Lagorio’s rare foray into the nude – a genre so intrinsic to European art – and as such he has created an idyllic composition against his favourite and celebrated backdrop – a seascape. We cannot know for sure what prompted the artist, who only occasionally included small genre scenes in his pictures, to choose this subject. The incentive may have come from one of Lagorio’s many patrons, whose palaces and summer-houses were being built on the Crimean coast during the late 1880s and early 1890s. At this time, Lagorio had his studio in the Crimean seaside town of Sudak, where he worked on commissions from his aristocratic and noble neighbours. At that time, Lagorio mainly painted canvases depicting scenes from the Russo-Turkish war, a subject which had brought him widespread acclaim. However, he also produced works that revealed his indisputable talent for beautiful and striking “small genre” works. Unlike Aivazovsky, who painted his spectacular sunsets and sunrises from memory, Lagorio always used sketches painted en plein air, which left out any unusual light effects, but made his pictures more realistic. Instead of panoramic views, he often chose secluded quiet inlets and bays, surrounded by high cliffs. Bathing in Crimea is one of those compositions. The subjects seem to be shrouded in a transparent veil, while the sunlight emerges from a haze to lend the picture a “gentle, soulful poetry”, as an Art Journal critic wrote of Lagorio’s work. But, simultaneously, everything, even the smallest detail, is meticulously rendered: one can make out the tiny leaves on the small tree clinging to the rocks, and the emphasised ruggedness of the cliffs. This ambivalence of the artist’s gaze may have had something to do with his short-sightedness. As a fellow student, Alexei Bogolyubov used to poke fun at him: “Lagorio was considered the most gifted among us as a landscape painter, though he was always short-sighted and made his sketches using binoculars”. According to another commentator, this idiosyncrasy of Lagorio’s technique made his paintings instantly recognisable, as his “soft, velvet brush ... conveyed on the canvas, as if by magic, the changing colours of the sea, the grey-blue tones of the cliffs and the haze of the distance.” In Bathing in Crimea, a soft evening light plays upon the rocks and illuminates the transparent ripples of the receding wave, the figures of the bathers are emphasised with a sculptural grace as they move towards each other in the water and a certain mystery is imparted to the friend, seated in the shadow of the cliffs. Although the artist’s palette is restrained, it is highly expressive and varied in its tones. In the late 1880s and early 1890s, Lagorio’s romanticised landscapes, occasionally adorned with small genre scenes, could be seen to be the antithesis of his battle paintings. They brought him numerous commissions and inspired an obituarist to call Lagorio “a genuine poet of the south, of the southern sea and sky, a poet of the Crimea and the Caucasus, all of which he so lovingly depicted.”

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*POLENOV, VASILY  (1844-1927)

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Description: *POLENOV, VASILY (1844-1927) The Forge, signed and indistinctly dated "(?)5". Oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 33 by 61.5 cm (cardboard size). Provenance: Sotheby’s London, May 1980 (label on the reverse). Cornette de Saint Cyr Paris, March 1985 (label on the reverse). Acquired at the above sale by a previous owner. Collection of Lode van Rijn, a Director of the Khepri Gallery, Amsterdam (label on the reverse). Private collection, The Netherlands. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov. Authenticity has also been confirmed by the expert G. Churak.

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*MYLNIKOV, ANDREI  (1919-2012)

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Description: *MYLNIKOV, ANDREI (1919-2012) Nude, signed and dated 1972, also further signed and dated on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 66.5 by 54.5 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Leningrad (label on the stretcher). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame). The picture entitled Nude (1972), which is offered at the present auction, is an outstanding work from the heyday of Andrei Mylnikov. The classic compositional balance, accomplished draughtsmanship and rich colouration of the painting are immediately evident. The young model radiates freshness and reminds us of such great forbears as Degas’ After the Bath, Renoir’s Portrait of Jeanne Samary and Mary Cassatt’s Mother. Works by Mylnikov are now extremely rare on the market and of great interest to lovers of easel painting. It should be noted that the painter’s oeuvre is well represented in Russia’s leading museums (the State Tretyakov Gallery and the State Russian Museum), as well as in many prestigious private collections in Russia and abroad. The artist’s work is inextricably linked with fine art of the Soviet period and the history of the Repin Institute of the Russian Academy of Arts in St Petersburg. Mylnikov was a luminary of Soviet art, serving as Vice-President of the Academy. He was also a Hero of Socialist Labour, the winner of prestigious state awards and, above all, a great artist and a sensitive, progressive teacher. Interestingly, Mylnikov departed early on from the canons of Socialist Realism, deliberately turning his attention to the “warm” aspects of humanist painting. The change in Mylnikov’s creativity coincided with Khrushchev’s Thaw, when the artist took motherhood, family life, the lyrical Russian landscape and the eternal beauty of the female nude as his main themes. Mylnikov transforms the achievements of the French Impressionists in his own way, focusing on “fluid” plasticity of a brushstroke and the power of colour effects. The painterly style of the artist is quite distinctive; he does not resort to descriptive detail, even though his creative base is the classical tradition of European art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Mylnikov was at the peak of his career from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, when his art made best use of the plein air tradition. He transformed the finest examples of the classical style, consecrated by Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, using his own special gift to imbue eternal human themes with the unique flair of the Leningrad academic school. Mylnikov’s undisputed masterpieces of the time are Mother and Child (1964), Sisters (1967), Summer (1969), Spring (1972), Windy Day (1975) and Dream (1974). The canvas Nude, offered for sale, can be added to this list of unique paintings.

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KONCHALOVSKY, PETR  (1876-1956)

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Description: KONCHALOVSKY, PETR (1876-1956) Apple Tree in Bloom, signed, also further signed, numbered "916" and dated 1931 on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 54.5 by 65.5 cm. Provenance: Hotel “Moskva”, Moscow (label on the reverse). Private collection, Hungary. Literature: Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 126, No. "zhi 756", listed.

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*KORZHEV, GELI  (1925-2012)

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Description: *KORZHEV, GELI (1925-2012) On a Black Background, signed, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated 1976 on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 50 by 80 cm. Provenance: A gift from the artist to the previous owner. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, Europe. The painting On a Black Background, offered for auction, is one of the finest still lifes in Gely Korzhev’s oeuvre. Painted during his best period, this masterpiece showcases all the outstanding qualities of Korzhev’s distinctive style, fully developed by that point in his artistic career. Though small in size, the canvas has the emotional impact of a monumental painting because of the effect of spatial depth achieved through the positioning of the objects, which seem to expand the boundaries of the work’s perimeter. The artist attains an exceptional harmony in his use of white and crimson, and dark and light shades of ochre on the velvet-deep, luminescent black background, which literally enshrouds the outlines of a tin jug, clay pot and drapery, on which he places an egg – symbol of creation and the foundation of life. The “centre” of the composition is moved to the right, which immediately grabs the viewers’ attention, keeping them in suspense. Gely Korzhev stands at the very heart of the history of Russian Realist painting in the second half of the 20th century. He is associated with the emergence and burgeoning of the ideological basis of the Severe Style, which dominated Soviet art in the 1960s. Korzhev was one of the cornerstones of this artistic movement. Moreover, this remarkable artist defined the very philosophical essence of the immense cultural transformation of Soviet society. The heyday of this conflicted yet undeniably exceptional master coincided with the Khrushchev Thaw, a time of remarkable release of the creativity of many talented artists, who would later become legends of their time. Whereas many artists relished an opportunity to finally place themselves in opposition to the official doctrine in art, Korzhev proceeded by expressing on his canvasses the incessant pain of Russia’s most tragic generation, which had stoically accepted it and readied themselves for the most difficult trials and tribulations. Korzhev’s heroes are people “of the earth”, people of physical toil; they are harsh, reticent and uncompromising. They are like Michelangelo’s titans, whose tough, monumental bodies are contrasted with the contrived, saccharine beauty of Raphael’s protagonists. These heavy, utterly earthly “gods” stoically bear their burden. Korzhev’s work is testament to the fact that his personal values are in fact the eternal values; they are clear and unshakable, the result of first-hand experiences of a genuinely sincere and uncompromising artist. Korzhev’s exceptional professionalism and absolute mastery over the technical aspects of his work – a skill honed over long decades – ensured that he stood out even among the finest artists of the Soviet era. His art, made unique by his inimitable style and idiosyncratic materiality, is ever alive and vibrant, despite the presence of hyper-realistic devices. In his masterfully arranged still lifes, Korzhev uses ordinary household objects to tell dramatic, harsh stories of the post-war generation, ascetically yet vividly emphasizing the details of the arduous existence of the individual, inhibited in by the rigid societal constraints.

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*NALBANDIAN, DMITRI  (1906-1993)

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Description: *NALBANDIAN, DMITRI (1906-1993) Bakhchisaray, signed and dated 1972, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated on the reverse. Oil on cardboard, 68.5 by 40 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Moscow (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*BASKAKOV, NIKOLAI  (1918-1993)

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Description: *BASKAKOV, NIKOLAI (1918-1993) Cabbage Harvesting, signed and dated 1969, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated on the reverse. Oil on cardboard, 49 by 79.5 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Leningrad (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*TUTUNOV, ANDREI  (B. 1928)

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Description: *TUTUNOV, ANDREI (B. 1928) Rainy Day, signed and dated 1966, also further signed and titled in Cyrillic on the stretcher. Oil on canvas, 72.5 by 95.5 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist, Moscow. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR (labels on the stretcher). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*PIMENOV, YURI  (1903-1977)

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Description: *PIMENOV, YURI (1903-1977) Kyoko the Japanese Girl, signed and dated 1975, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated on the stretcher. Oil on canvas , 137 by 70.5 cm. Provenance: Collection of Tatiana Pimenova, the artist’s daughter, Moscow, c. 1980s. Private collection, USA. Exhibited: XII vystavka proizvedenii chlenov Akademii khudozhestv SSSR, Research Museum of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, Leningrad,April 1976 (label on the stretcher). Yu. Pimenov, Zhivopis, Grafika, Plakat, Teatr, Central House of Artists, Moscow, 1986. Literature: L. Lapteva, A. Chegodaev (eds), Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov, Vystavka proizvedenii, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1986, pl. 32, illustrated;No. 119, listed. Yury Pimenov’s lyrical composition Kyoko the Japanese Girl is an almost full-length work in the artist’s typical and much-loved genre of female theatrical portraiture. Pimenov painted it upon his return from a visit to Tokyo in 1975, where he had had a solo exhibition of his works, under the auspices of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Arts. Pimenov’s status as a paradigm of Soviet art insured that from the late 1950s he was allowed to travel abroad on numerous occasions. The visit to Japan was amongst the last of his foreign trips and left the artist with a particularly vivid set of impressions. His exhibition in Japan had been a great success and according to the official report, it was completely sold out to museums and collectors. Pimenov, who was treated with great honour by his Japanese colleagues, also had the chance to acquaint himself with artistic and theatrical culture of this alluring and mysterious country. An experienced traveller, Pimenov always brought back finished compositions and numerous sketches to use as a basis for his paintings. These works would be imbued with his vivid memories and acutely convey the ambience and striking distinctions of places such as Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Greece and India. To embody his impressions of distant lands, he would often use the female image to personify particular geographic locations, such as Parisienne (1958), Venice. Solitary Flower Seller (1958) and Oriental Dancers (1967). Upon his return from Japan, Pimenov created two paintings of this type for the statutory annual exhibition of members of the Academy of Arts. They are Tokyo Window (1975), which is now in the collection of the Perm Museum of Art, and Kyoko the Japanese Girl, which is offered here for auction. Both compositions are highly theatrical. But while Tokyo Window is more of an arranged genre scene, with a female figure and a certain atmosphere which is created through the inclusion of landscape and interior elements into the composition, Kyoko the Japanese Girl is by contrast, a “pure” portrait. Its inherent lyricism is the result of Pimenov’s painterly finesse and his feel for colour and composition. The inclusion of the subject’s name in the title adds a touch of intimacy and humanity to the painting. As Irakly Andronnikov, a writer and literary historian, wrote in a letter to the artist: “It seems to me that your titles have something very specific and subtle. They are never straightforward and always lead to what is most important” (I. Andronnikov, “Yuri Pimenov”, Literaturnaya Gazeta, 28 February 1961). The portrait of Kyoko, like most of Pimenov’s work at the time, reveals the hand of a master, who knows how to think compositionally and to perceive his subjects with a certain rhythmic structure. The distant, high perspective captures the broad decorative space of the grey background and the painting as a whole is cohesive and well-balanced with no accidental elements. Yet, at the same time, it is not a work that appears as overcalculated or over-worked. Whilst the virtual absence of a horizontal axis robs the painting of that dimension, it does so in order to bring it within the canon of traditional Japanese art. In the 1970s, everything associated with world of the theatre — the scenography, the special realm of the theatre foyer, the rehearsal and the dressing rooms — were all at the centre of Pimenov’s artistic interests. In his set designs, posters and easel compositions, the artist strives to create an aesthetic fetishisation of the unique atmosphere of the theatre. Unfortunately, we do not know who sat for Pimenov’s Japanese paintings. It is certain, however, that the artist’s attendance at a performance of traditional Japanese Noh theatre as well as his first-hand impressions of the country’s culture, provided him with excellent artistic material of a theatrical nature. It is not accidental that his Japanese models are dressed in the traditional kimono and geta, which, in the 1970s, were worn only on special occasions: for celebrations, official ceremonies or performances. Pimenov adored the poetry of the Russian Silver Age and often added verse epigraphs to his paintings and literary essays. It is not surprising, therefore, that his Kyoko is reminiscent of the Japanese actress Sada Yacco, described in a famous poem by Nikolai Gumilev, and who appears here as if frozen for a moment before going on stage. This capture of the brief retreat is common among Pimenov’s depictions of other theatrical heroines. It is expertly captured in The Actress About to Go on Stage and Tatiana Samoilova — Anna Karenina (1966). Pimenov acknowledged that he had seen many theatrical performances and films and visited many countries: “Some are completely forgotten, others remain in the memory, and some will stay there forever; but the totality of experienced leaves behind some sort of jubilation which, lies somewhere on the other side of quotidian existence, the other side of an ordinary day” (Yu. Pimenov, Tainstvennyi mir zrelishch, Moscow, 1974, p. 16). The dazzling portrait Kyoko, which comes from the collection of Pimenov’s daughter, Tatiana, is an excellent illustration of his “non-mundane” world of the theatre and spectacle.

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*DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR  (1899-1969)

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Description: *DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR (1899-1969) Portrait of Paula Freiberg. Oil on canvas, 41.5 by 49.5 cm. Provenance: A gift from the artist to the sitter, Moscow, c. 1922–1931. Thence by descent. Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998. Private collection, Switzerland. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert T. Zelyukina. The portrait of the artist Paula Freiberg (1890–1938), executed in a free and spontaneous manner, is among the earliest and rarest “expressionistic” works by Aleksandr Deineka. Deineka and his model were classmates at the graphic section at the Art and Technical School (VKhUTEMAS) in Moscow in the early 1920s. Their mutual friend Ekaterina Zernovaya recalls that Freiberg was “a Latvian, a party worker, who had been smuggling weapons across the border when she was just fourteen.” By the time she entered the Art School she already had had a turbulent and romantic biography of a professional revolutionary, including exile in Siberia, escape to the UK and then the USA, return to Russia in April 1917 and intensive political work alongside her husband David Beika, a member of the Communist Party Central Committee in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. Another of Deineka’s comrades of those years, the artist Andrei Goncharov, remembers meeting Deineka “not only in class, but also at the home of Paula Freiberg, another Faculty student, an older woman, intelligent and very nice, but without any talent. Her relationship with Deineka was very close, and it seemed to me that she reined him in, and, in a maternal sort of way, offered him guidance in art and life.” From 1925, Freiberg started her own art career as a book illustrator, and then as a “proletarian artist”, which no doubt made them closer professionally. In 1928, both artists joined the October Union, which was geared towards proletarian art. In the 1920s and 1930s, Freiberg sat for Deineka several times, including his famous portrait Girl Sitting on a Chair (1924) and other well-known canvasses, such as Ball Game (1932) and Building New Factories (1926), both now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery. The austere angle and the straightforward composition, which were the artist’s trademarks at this time, are evident in the portrait offered for auction. Despite the painterly technique, we cannot fail to notice the “graphic interpretation”, which defined young Deineka’s style. It is apparent in the emphasised delineation of the contours; the clear separation of colours; the contrast between the volume of the model’s head and the background; the stylised density of space; and, finally, in the facial architecture, resembling a technical drawing. The artist creates a modern and dynamic portrait of his model using broad brush strokes on a light, unpainted canvas, with a minimum of tone variations. At the same time, Deineka’s brush strokes are voluminous, so that the borders of the colour spots lend volume and weight to the form, conveying the movement of the face and its lively expression. The separate colour planes do not merge or fade into one another, but clearly relate to one another spatially and generate a striking, voluminous and recognisable image of a female artist of the 1920s. The deliberately angular, barbed contours of this iconic, vigorously painted portrait bear the unmistakable hallmark of the master, with his broad, temperamental style. This is most probably the sole remaining portrait of Paula Freiberg by Deineka, which remains in private ownership, and one with a troubled history. Paula Freiberg was arrested soon after her husband in 1938, sentenced to forced labour and died in transit to the camps. Thereafter Deineka, for obvious reasons, avoided bringing up this dangerous liaison, and the present work probably only survived because he left it unsigned and did not inscribe it with the model’s name (as he did with another portrait of Freiberg, which is now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery).

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*DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR  (1899-1969)

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Description: *DEINEKA, ALEKSANDR (1899-1969) Football Players. Bronze, height 81 cm. Provenance: Acquired by the present owner in Moscow in 1998. Private collection, Switzerland. Related literature: For the initial composition in wood, see Alexandr Deineka. Zhivopis. Grafika. Skulptura, Moscow, The State Tretyakov Gallery, 2010, p. 185, illustrated; p. 198, No. 160, listed. The sculptural group Football Players by Alexandr Deineka, offered here for auction, is the author’s bronze cast of his eponymous wooden sculpture. Deineka’s decision to produce this and two other known casts of the same sculpture is specifically connected with his artistic career in the late 1940s and 1950s. As Deineka himself admitted, he first started dabbling in sculpture in the late 1930s, when he became interested in exploring three-dimensional space in art. However, most of his sculptures were executed after World War II, when he was head of the Sculpture Department at the Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. He used the Institute’s facilities to work with materials (bronze, wood and ceramic) that he rarely used in his pre-war work; therefore it is reasonable to assume that the recasting of the original wooden sculpture Football Players (1950, The State Tretyakov Gallery) into bronze was part of this learning process. In any case, Football Players is a work that further develops Deineka’s artistic objectives, which he explored in his series of sculptural studies, namely the representation of movement and the compositional structure of two figure, table-top sculptures. Deineka’s choice of subject is not accidental, and his sculptures always have connections with his work in other art forms. The artist had been preoccupied since the 1920s with the idea of creating expressive compositions that captured movement in sport, and as a keen sportsman himself, he used his art to forge an image of the new Soviet citizen: an athlete with a “spring” in his step. All of Deineka’s works dedicated to sport are filled with an enthusiasm bordering on passion, for example, the famous large-scale painting Goalkeeper (1934) or the sculpture Football Player (1948–1950). The artist was also passionate about boxing, football and skiing, and it was not from mere civic duty that he showcased these sporting activities in his works. He admitted that his first experiments with the artistic rendering of movement were inspired by football: “The game of football is what spurred me to find my own artistic language” (A. Deineka, “Tvorcheskaya komandirovka”, 1935, quoted in V. Sysoev (ed.), Alexandr Deineka, Moscow, 1989, vol. 2, p. 12). When preparing to paint a picture or create a sculpture glorifying the game of football, Deineka made numerous sketches and was convinced that the composition should not be just a simple snippet of a real-life match. He strove to imbue these works with a special expressivity that would transform immediate impressions into signs and symbols. The artist found this expressivity primarily when vigorous sporting movement – jumping and running – was viewed from certain angular perspectives, from above or below, and as such, was reminiscent of Alexandr Rodchenko’s photographs, so much in vogue at the time. For his new Soviet hero, Deineka conceived an ideal of physical beauty quite different from that of classical art: a muscular, agile body, shaped by daily work and polished by sport, with short, strong legs, a svelte torso and a small head on broad shoulders. In this, his athletes of the late 1940s are no different from their pre-war predecessors. From 1948 and on into the 1950s, the artist created several sculptures and relief compositions on the subject of football. These are the reliefs on the grid, Football Players and Football Player, as well as several relief portraits of a football player’s head. The sculpture presented here at auction further develops this series. The artist successfully addresses a difficult challenge, trying simultaneously to experiment with volume and composition. Deineka’s relaxed treatment of proportion and form highlight his familiarity with the uninhibited sculptural language of the leading European masters of the early 20th century. These features make Football Players one of Deineka’s best sculptural works, fully in keeping with the vitality of his sporting works of the 1930s. In the years to follow, other artists’ versions of this and other famous compositions by Deineka – divers suspended over water, footballers depicted from a complex angle – would be transformed into a banal template for the decoration of Soviet social and recreational spaces. But that does not detract from the artistic merits and perfection of the original.

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*ROERICH, NICHOLAS  (1874-1947)

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Description: *ROERICH, NICHOLAS (1874-1947) St Mercurius of Smolensk, signed with a monogram and dated 1919. Oil on canvas, 91.5 by 91.5 cm. Provenance: Collection of B.H. Kean, New York. Icons, Russian Pictures and Works of Art, Sotheby’s London, 15 December 1993, lot 29, illustrated. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, USA. Literature: Nicholas Roerich, vol. 1, Samara, Agni Publishing House; Moscow, Fine Arts Academy Gallery; Zürich, Kunstberatung, 2008, p. 230, pl. 265, illustrated; p. 661, No. 265, listed with incorrect date 1918. St Mercurius of Smolensk by Nicholas Roerich belongs to his large series of works dedicated to Russian saints. This series is a particularly important part of the artist’s oeuvre. Roerich considered the First World War, which had engulfed Europe, as a global catastrophe. Empires fell, whole cities were laid waste and some of the most valued monuments of European history, repositories of the memory of many generations, were reduced to ashes. In that turbulent time, the artist turned to the history of the Tartar-Mongol invasions, the ruthless destructiveness of which reminded him of the contemporary events in Europe. Roerich created a series of works devoted to holy warriors and intercessors who defended Russia and the Christian faith at a time when all hope of rescue seemed vain. So from the fear and despair of The Doomed City (1914) and Glow (1914) Roerich moves on to hope and the expectation of salvation, as expressed in Prokopy the Righteous Diverts the Cloud of Stones from Veliky Ustyug (1914), Saint Nikolai of Mozhaisk (1916), Saint Mercurius of Smolensk (1918) and The Saints Boris and Gleb (1919). Two versions of St Mercurius of Smolensk are known. The first, painted in 1918, from the collection of Dmitry Rubinstein, was reproduced in 1931 in a monograph devoted to the works of Roerich (A. Yaremenko, Nicholai Konstantinovich Roerich, His Life and Creations During the Past Forty Years, 1889–1929, New York, Central Book Trading Company, 1931, p. 13, pl. 60; p. 35, mentioned in the text). In this version, the protagonist is met as he enters the city by an angelic choir, which the artist places in the upper right section of the composition. It should be noted that Roerich had three major solo exhibitions in 1918–1920 in Stockholm, Helsinki and London. Many works from these exhibitions were sold to museums and private collections; and it is possible that this prompted him to replicate his most important paintings. In 1919 Roerich created a new version of St Mercurius of Smolensk, which – as was often the case with his replications – he did not enter into the list of original works. Initially, the new version was conceived as an exact replica of the 1918 composition. Infrared photography reveals the preparatory drawing, in which the figures of angels at the top right and a palace with a chapel to the left of the gates are clearly visible. But as the work progressed, Roerich decided to do something different. He removed the sketched choir and clouds and painted a mural on the facade of the gates, which depicted two angels sounding trumpets in honour of the hero. Thus, the heavenly host was made less obvious, intended to be noticed only by a more perceptive viewer. This rearrangement led to a reworking of the whole composition. The architecture on the left side of the original picture, which teemed with detail, is replaced by a more laconic image of a fortress tower. Overall, while the atmosphere on the 1918 version was jubilant (the colourful city, billowing, foam-like clouds, and angels in azure raiment), the version of 1919 is executed in a more austere and restrained manner, which Roerich deemed more appropriate to the nature of the martyrdom of Mercurius, who paid with his life for the rescue of Smolensk. However, structural changes to the composition and, more importantly, the degree to which Roerich reinterpreted the emotional content of the painting, allow to view the offered work is an authentic version that reveals new facets of the existing subject. St Mercurius of Smolensk is an outstanding work from Nikolai Roerich’s Sancta series, one of the most important components of his oeuvre, which is now almost entirely held in museum collections. We are grateful to the expert Olga Glebova, an art historian, for providing additional catalogue information.

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*VOLKOV, ALEKSANDR  (1886-1957)

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Description: *VOLKOV, ALEKSANDR (1886-1957) Uzbek Children in a Yurt, signed, further with a study of a classical bust on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 33.5 by 52.5 cm (image size). Executed c. 1928–1929. Provenance: Collection of Iosif Ezrakh, Leningrad. With James Butterwick gallery, London. Private collection, UK. Exhibited: A Time to Gather... Russian Art from Foreign Private Collections, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, 14 February–12 May 2008. Literature: Paintings from Private Collections, 18th to 20th Century, Leningrad/St Petersburg, St Petersburg, Aurora Art Publishers, 1993, p. 203,No. 262, illustrated. Exhibition catalogue, A Time to Gather... Russian Art from Foreign Private Collections,St Petersburg, Palace Editions, 2007, p. 243, pl. 177, illustrated. Aleksandr Volkov is one of the brilliant representatives of the Eastern avant-garde. His Uzbek images became part of art history for their bold application of the principles of Cubism, Futurism and Suprematism to traditional ethnic genre scenes. Uzbek Children in a Yurt represents a new phase in the artist’s career, namely, his experiments in figurative art. Volkov’s works from this period are celebrated for their saturated colour and their idiosyncratic stylistic interpretation, which combines the principles of folk primitivism with eastern religious motifs, such as Sufism.

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*STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR  (1926-1973)

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Description: *STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR (1926-1973) River Port in Karpogory, dated "3 5 62". Oil on card, laid on cardboard, 25.5 by 74 cm. Provenance: Estate of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Moscow (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame). Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Vladimir Stozharov, the artist’s grandson. Literature: Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov, 1926–1973, Zhivopis, Risunok, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977, p. 87, listed.

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*KRYLOV, PORFIRI  (1902-1990)

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Description: *KRYLOV, PORFIRI (1902-1990) Moonlit Night, signed and dated 1955, also further signed, inscribed in Cyrillic "(Akadem. dacha)", titled and dated "1955 g avgust" on the reverse. Oil on canvasboard, 35.5 by 50 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Moscow (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR  (1926-1973)

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Description: *STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR (1926-1973) Red Moon, dated "29 9 55 g". Oil on card, laid on panel, 16 by 38 cm. Provenance: Estate of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Moscow (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame). Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Vladimir Stozharov, the artist’s grandson. Literature: Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov, 1926–1973, Zhivopis, Risunok, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977, p. 71, listed.

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*STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR  (1926-1973)

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Description: *STOZHAROV, VLADIMIR (1926-1973) May Day Festivities in the Karpogory Village, dated "1 maya 62". Oil on cardboard, 20.5 by 41 cm. Provenance: With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR (label on the reverse). Acquired by the previous owner in Moscow in 1989. Thence by descent. Private collection, USA. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Vladimir Stozharov, the artist’s grandson. Literature: Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov, 1926–1973, Zhivopis, Risunok, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977, p. 87, listed.

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*KUPRIYANOV, MIKHAIL  (1903-1991)

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Description: *KUPRIYANOV, MIKHAIL (1903-1991) Sunset in Berdyansk, signed and dated 1969, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated on the reverse. Oil on canvasboard, 35 by 50 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR, Moscow (label on the reverse). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*MALYSHEV, GENNADY  (1922-1999)

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Description: *MALYSHEV, GENNADY (1922-1999) Garden in Spring, signed and dated 1974. Oil on canvas, 66 by 101 cm. Provenance: Collection of the artist. With the salon of the Art Fund of the Ukrainian SSR, Odessa (label on the stretcher). Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo (labels on the backing board and on the reverse of the frame).

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*SHCHERBAKOV, BORIS  (1916-1995)

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Description: *SHCHERBAKOV, BORIS (1916-1995) Cloud above the Lake, signed and dated 1978, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated on the reverse. Oil on cardboard, 50 by 70.5 cm. Provenance: With the salon of the Art Fund of the USSR (label on the reverse). Private collection, Europe.

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*YAKOVLEV, ALEXANDER  (1887-1938)

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Description: *YAKOVLEV, ALEXANDER (1887-1938) Mythological Landscape, signed and dated 1928. Oil on canvas, 168 by 212.5 cm. Provenance: Fine 19th Century European Paintings and Watercolours, Phillips London, 12 March 1996, lot 125. Russian Art Evening, Sotheby’s London, 24 November 2008, lot 33. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, Europe. The work will be included in the forthcoming Alexander Yakovlev catalogue raisonné being prepared by Caroline Haardt de La Baume. Alexander Yakovlev’s Mythological Landscape is a good example of a new shift in his style and technique. Already an experienced and acclaimed master, he took many people by surprise at the end of the 1920s, when he decided to alter his artistic image of “recorder and registrar”, by enriching it with a fresh palette and novel brushwork. These elements feature in Mythological Landscape, painted in 1928 and influenced by Italian landscapes and the frescoes from Pompeii which the artist saw at the Naples National Archaeological Museum. The painting is distinguished by its extremely measured composition and subtle combinations of colour. It is testimony to Yakovlev’s professionalism and his appreciation of the art of the Old Masters, his love of ancient mythology and classical form; as well as to his eagerness to embrace a new painterly style by means of employing a freer, looser brushwork. The canvas recreates majestic Mediterranean landscape, with a large part of the composition reserved for the skies receding into the skyline. The effect of the vastness of space is emphasised by the introduction of the barely discernible mythical characters, who seem to inhabit the landscape. The three figures in the lower right-hand corner are possibly Venus, Adonis and, hovering over them, Cupid – a recurrent subject in the works of the Old Masters. Yakovlev’s 1929 one-man exhibitions at the Renaissance gallery in Paris and the Kodak gallery in Brussels included a large number of works with subjects and images from ancient mythology, created in a new, liberated manner. It is entirely possible that Mythological Landscape was also shown at these exhibitions. Regardless of that, the present work has an indisputably high artistic value, due both to an exceptionally fine delineation of a classical subject, and the artist’s masterful execution of broader artistic goals. We are grateful to Dr Elena Yakovleva, art historian and expert on the artist, for providing additional catalogue information.

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KORZHEV, GELI  (1925-2012)

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Description: KORZHEV, GELI (1925-2012) Lovers, signed, further titled in Cyrillic and dated 1972 on the reverse. Oil on cardboard, 48.5 by 22 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist’s studio by the previous owner in Moscow, c. 2012–2013. Private collection, Europe. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK.

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KORZHEV, GELI  (1925-2012)

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Description: KORZHEV, GELI (1925-2012) Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, signed. Pencil and watercolour, heightened with white, 27.5 by 24 cm (sheet size). Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist’s studio by the previous owner in Moscow c. 2012–2013. Private collection, Europe. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK.

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§KOSHLYAKOV, VALERY  (B. 1962)

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Description: §KOSHLYAKOV, VALERY (B. 1962) Engelkopf, signed twice on the reverse. Tempera, gouache and collage with paper on corrugated cardboard, 139.5 by 117.5 cm. Executed in 2004. Provenance: Walter Bischoff Galerie, Berlin, Germany. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Important private collection, Germany.

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LARIONOV, MIKHAIL  (1881-1964)

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Description: LARIONOV, MIKHAIL (1881-1964) Autumn Twilight, signed with initials, also further signed twice, inscribed in Russian and French with the artist's address in Moscow and Paris, titled in Russian and dated "Oktiabr 1900" on the reverse. Oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 37.5 by 53 cm. Provenance: Private collection, USA. Russian Art Evening, Sotheby’s London, 9 June 2008, lot 37. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, UK. Dating from 1900, when Mikhail Larionov was only 19 years old, Autumn Twilight is one of his earliest surviving oil paintings to remain in private hands. It was painted only two years after Larionov had enrolled at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he first studied under Isaak Levitan. It also predates what is generally accepted as his Impressionist period. However, it already shows the influence of leading French Impressionists, such as Auguste Renoir. In particular, it brings to mind paintings by Claude Monet, examples of which the artist had seen in the celebrated collection of Sergei Shchukin. It was the work of these artists that would influence Larionov for several years to follow. Autumn Twilight is typical for the artist’s oeuvre from this period when he painted the world around him and, like the Impressionists, was particularly drawn to scenes from everyday life. In the present work, Larionov depicts a fashionable woman walking her dog in one of Moscow’s parks, a motif which also reappears in a picture titled The Park, painted a couple of years later. Another characteristic of Larionov’s early pictures is his subtle use of colours. Here, the red of the woman’s dress contrasts with and complements the muted greens of the surroundings. This use of colours would be a feature of Larionov’s work throughout his life, and in this sense his early paintings already foreshadow the crucial role he would play in the development of the Russian avant-garde. As the art historian Nikolai Punin noted, “In these early pieces of his, one can already observe the great artistic and revolutionary will that would subsequently make Larionov the leader of a new art movement.”

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*BURLIUK, DAVID  (1882-1967)

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Description: *BURLIUK, DAVID (1882-1967) Village Street, signed. Oil on canvas, 65 by 82.5 cm. Executed in the 1910s. Provenance: Acquired by the present owner in Moscow in 1998. Private collection, Switzerland. Village Street, offered here for auction, is an excellent and extremely rare example of David Burliuk’s early work. There are very few Burliuks from the 1910s in Russian private collections, and the only museums that have works from this period are the State Tretyakov Gallery and the State Russian Museum. At that time, the future “father of Russian Futurism” graduated from the Odessa College of Art and was taking part in various exhibitions organized by the Association of South Russian Artists. He also exhibited at both of Vladimir Izdebsky’s “Salons” in 1909–1911, where he first came across the work of contemporary French artists, which impressed him greatly. On 6 December 1909, Burliuk wrote to his friend Nikolai Kulbin in St Petersburg: “The exhibition is very interesting – so many lovely works by Frenchmen – gorgeous Van Dongen, Braque, Rousseau, Vlaminck, Manguin, and many others. [...] We are now in the country, will be working here till January – I’ve got a real urge to work (after seeing all these Frenchmen), Burliuk’s work “in the country” – his native village of Chernyanka in the Dnieper estuary (Taurida Governate, near the Crimea), or on the Zolotaya Balka estate of the Svyatopolk-Mirsky family, near Kherson, where the artist’s father was the estate manager – proved highly productive. Until the mid-1910s, Burliuk spent almost every summer there in the company of friends and colleagues, making frequent visits from Moscow. He wrote in his autobiographical essay Fragments from the Memories of a Futurist: “The summer of 1910 proved to be much more radical. I painted neo-impressionist studies of the Dnieper. Mikhail Larionov and then Lentulov came to see us and worked with us for a while. Larionov painted Mating, Haystack, Rosehip, Window with a Bouquet and Rain – lovely things. Lentulov did studies of peasant women...” Velimir Khlebnikov, Wassily Kandinsky and Isaak Brodsky also visited the Burliuks, and the discussions between them were instrumental in generating new artistic ideas. Brodsky particularly appreciated the landscapes of his hospitable friend. Burliuk would later write that this “wonderful young man was a springboard for my professional growth. He bought several of my impressionistic sketches (1910–1915), which took pride of place in his large collection in St Petersburg, then in Petrograd and Leningrad.” (N. Yevdayev, David Burliuk v Amerike. Materialy k biografii, Moscow, Nauka, 2002, p. 340). Village Street, painted in broad ornamental brush strokes, ranks among the best of these impressionistic works and has discernible references to radical artistic quest of Burliuk’s friends, the “leftist” artists Lentulov and Larionov.

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BURLIUK, DAVID  (1882-1967)

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Description: BURLIUK, DAVID (1882-1967) Japanese Landscape, signed and dated 1922. Oil on canvas, 40 by 50 cm . Provenance: Private collection, USA. Acquired by the previous owners c. 2006. Thence by descent. Private collection, Berlin. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert I. Vakar.

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*BURLIUK, DAVID  (1882-1967)

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Description: *BURLIUK, DAVID (1882-1967) Fishing Boats, signed, also further signed on the reverse. Oil on cardboard, 55.5 by 66 cm. Provenance: With PSD Fine Arts Corporation, New York, No. 184458-4 (label on the reverse).

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BURLIUK, DAVID  (1882-1967)

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Description: BURLIUK, DAVID (1882-1967) Yellow Horse, signed. Oil on canvas, 35.5 by 46 cm. Provenance: The Russian Sale, Sotheby’s London, 1 December 2004, lot 276. Acquired by the previous owner in Moscow c. 2006. Thence by descent. Private collection, Berlin.

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*KOROVIN, KONSTANTIN  (1861-1939)

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Description: *KOROVIN, KONSTANTIN (1861-1939) Parisian Restaurants by Night, signed and inscribed "Paris". Oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 32 by 39.5 cm. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

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*KOROVIN, KONSTANTIN  (1861-1939)

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Description: *KOROVIN, KONSTANTIN (1861-1939) Restaurant "La Closerie des Lilas", Paris, signed and inscribed "Paris", also further inscribed in Cyrillic "Krasnyi" on the reverse. Oil on panel, 31 by 39.5 cm. Provenance: Private collection, Le Havre, France. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

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YAKOVLEV, ALEXANDER  (1887-1938)

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Description: YAKOVLEV, ALEXANDER (1887-1938) Nudes Bathing, signed and dated 1929. Tempera on canvas, 155 by 92 cm. Provenance: The artist’s estate. Acquired from the above by Vose Galleries, Boston, 1948. Reacquired from the above by the artist’s estate, 1956. Collection of Roger Prigent. Modern and Contemporary Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Sotheby’s New York, 28 February 1992, lot 120. Russian Art, Sotheby’s New York, 17 April 2007, lot 335. Private collection, UK. Exhibited: Alexandre Iacovleff Memorial Exhibition, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, January–February 1954. Alexander Yakovlev’s painting Nudes Bathing, offered here for auction, is the largest of his nudes executed in Paris in 1929. It combines the artist’s most recent colouristic insights with the development of his beloved subject of the Russian bath house and Neoclassical form. At the same time, alongside the artist’s obvious interest in 17th-century Old Masters, the modern influence of Paul Cézanne’s Baigneuses is clearly discernible. As a homage to the traditions of the Old Masters, the work palpably expresses an allegorical treatment of the women and compositionally too, with each of them included within a common circle and yet simultaneously turned towards the viewer, in the difference in scale of the primary and secondary subjects, the localisation of colour, the smooth brushstrokes, the glazing and the brown background. The austere, almost monochrome use of colour is nonetheless ideal for emphasizing the sensuous, youthful, statuesque figures of the women, locked in their circular motion. This interpretation of the nude figures and their corporality evokes the influence of Cézanne. The picture contains no superfluous details. Yakovlev brings the figures of the young women close to the viewer and deliberately makes them larger than he normally would. The image of the bathing women becomes a personification of the eternal, timeless ideal of health, femininity and the beauty of a youthful naked body. Yakovlev was undoubtedly among the first-rate masters of Neoclassicism in the 1920s. Furthermore, Yakovlev reinterpreted Neoclassicism in a personal and innovative manner, influenced by both his keen interest in the classics as well as the latest artistic movements, particularly Cubismand Neo-Primitivism, with their techniques of deformation. Some critics were offended by the stylisation found in Yakovlev’s work, and its overt eclecticism. Alexander Benois, in defence of the artist, responded in the following way: “You can regard Yakovlev however you like … but there is one thing you should be in no doubt about – that he is a phenomenon… What a master he is... Without any effort he can sketch a magnificently formed figure in a few minutes, bending it however he wants..., painting it in whatever colours he likes ... We need to learn from him… not speculate about his art, not be outraged by the antics of Apollo’s golden boy toying with the most difficult things as if it were merely childish nonsense.” Wherever Yakovlev lived – Russia, China, France or the USA – the essence of his art hardly changed; and the different versions of his bathing nudes are invariably among his most acclaimed works. For a long time, Nudes Bathing remained in the collection of the artist’s family, before its sale in 1948 to Vose Galleries. After a successful exhibition of the artist’s work in 1954, the painting was reacquired by the artist’s family.

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GLUCKMANN, GRIGORY  (1898-1973)

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Description: GLUCKMANN, GRIGORY (1898-1973) Reclining Nude, signed. Oil on panel, 56.5 by 100.5 cm. Provenance: With Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco, No. 11596 (label on the reverse of the frame). Russian Art Paintings, Sotheby’s London, 12 June 2007, lot 179. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, UK. Exhibited: La 14e Exposition. Salon des Tuileries, Paris, 21 May–5 July 1936, No. 1 (label on the reverse). Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Salon des Tiulleries. Catalogue de la 14e Exposition, au Néo-Parnasse, Paris, Impr. dans la Quotidienne, 1936, listed.

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*§LAPCHINE, GEORGES  (1885-1950)

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Description: *§LAPCHINE, GEORGES (1885-1950) Fishing Village, Capri, signed. Oil on canvas, 45.5 by 81.5 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by Mr and Mrs Miller on Capri, Italy, before 1950. Thence by descent. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, USA. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

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§LAPCHINE, GEORGES  (1885-1950)

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Description: §LAPCHINE, GEORGES (1885-1950) Sunny Day in a Mediterranean Town, signed and dated 1928. Oil on canvas, 54.5 by 65.5 cm.

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VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI  (1854-1917)

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Description: VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI (1854-1917) Summer Landscape, signed and dated 1885, further inscribed in Cyrillic “Etiud Tverskoi gub.” on the reverse. Oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 11 by 18.5 cm. Provenance: Important private collection, USA. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK.

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VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI  (1854-1917)

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Description: VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI (1854-1917) Winter Study, signed and numbered "402", also further titled in Cyrillic, numbered "N 402" and bearing the artist's studio stamp on the reverse. Oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 13.5 by 24.5 cm. Provenance: Important private collection, USA. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

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VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI  (1854-1917)

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Description: VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI (1854-1917) Ukrainian Hut on a Hill, signed. Oil on cardboard, 14 by 24 cm . Provenance: Important private collection, USA. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK.

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VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI  (1854-1917)

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Description: VASILKOVSKY, SERGEI (1854-1917) Winter Village at Sunset, signed and indistinctly dated. Oil on paper, laid on panel, 6.5 by 10 cm. Provenance: Important private collection, USA. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK.

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SAVRASOV, ALEKSEI  (1830-1897)

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Description: SAVRASOV, ALEKSEI (1830-1897) Road by the Volga River Oil on canvas, 55 by 43 cm. Provenance: Private collection, Europe. Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov. From the 1870s, landscapes of the great Russian river Volga attain a special place in the oeuvre of Alexei Savrasov. The beauty of the Volga inspired him to paint bird’s eye views of its flooded shores and panoramic landscapes of the surrounding areas. At the same time, Savrasov remained true to himself, and his acute love of nature, influenced by the Orthodox faith, found a powerful expression in these unpretentious landscapes with elements of Russian rural life, rendered in a meticulous and touching manner. Road by the Volga River is one of these lyrical landscapes, where nature is perceived by the artist as inseparable from the life of people who inhabit it – fishermen, peasants and barge haulers – each with their everyday concerns and pursuits. The size of the present work – middling-sized salon format, so beloved by Savrasov (notably, almost identical to that of the famous Rainbow in the collection of the State Russian Museum) – together with its poetic subject, embody the persistent quest for artistic representation that for many years had been the defining feature of the work of one of the most soulful Russian landscapists. Apparently simple, the composition of the picture is meticulously structured. Savrasov encompasses at a glance the endless expanses of the Central Russian landscape, the vastness of the sky strewn with clouds, and the quiet, unassuming beauty of the high river bank with two peasants leisurely strolling along. Tranquility and clarity are defining features of the compositon. The foreground is dominated by the tall tree, its leafy branches concealing the roof of the house, and by the diagonal path of a welltrodden muddy track. In the distance, we see the mast of a boat with a flag flapping in the wind and yet another person, making his way up from the riverbank. Human presence permeates the whole composition and lends warmth to the landscape. Showcasing the artist’s beloved themes, the present work incorporates other typical features: water surface intricately reflecting the light from the cloudy sky, the large tree illuminated by the sun, the figures walking along the bank and the panoramic view of a village, melting away into the distance. Savrasov’s brushstrokes are delicate, almost transparent. He manages to masterfully blend the intimacy of human habitation with the grandeur of landscape. With its modest, low-key subject matter and tranquil manner of painting, Road by the Volga River embodies Isaac Levitan’s famous comment on the art of Savrasov: “What simplicity! But behind the simplicity you feel the gentle, kind soul of the artist, for whom all this is dear and close to his heart.”

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SHISHKIN, IVAN  (1832-1898)

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Description: SHISHKIN, IVAN (1832-1898) Pine Forest, signed and dated 1866. Oil on canvas, 91 by 70.5 cm. Provenance: Private collection, UK. Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov. Authenticity certificate from the expert N. Ignatova. Literature: I. Shuvalova, Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, St Petersburg, Khudozhnik Rossii, 1993, p. 41, illustrated; p. 38, mentioned in the text; p. 205, listed. Pine Forest, offered here for auction, is a rare, early work by Ivan Shishkin. It is all the more noteworthy in that it was one of Shishkin’s first paintings of a pine forest, a subject that would dominate his oeuvre for many years. Pine Forest was painted en plein air in the village of Bratsevo, north-west of Moscow, where Shishkin and his close friend Lev Kamenev, a fellow student from the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, spent the entire summer of 1866 in an old manor house allegedly designed by the famous architect Andrey Voronikhin. The grounds of the estate stretched out to the rivulet Bratovka, a tributary of the Skhodnya, and adjoined the famous historic village of Tushino. Shishkin, who had just returned home that year after spending several years travelling abroad on a funded research trip, completely immersed himself in painting, working “feverishly”, as he himself said. He would produce several plein air studies every day, and these served as the basis for Pine Forest. In Pine Forest, Shishkin, as always, depicts a specific place. The canvas is imbued with the light, air and sense of the vastness of space that are so characteristic of his work at the time, and which would later give way to more condensed and secluded forest scenes. He managed both to lend a note of refinement to the picture, and to find a way to convey the wild, untamed character of the central Russian landscape without clashing with the ideals of Russian Academism. The path leading down to the pond, the gentle slope of the hill, the boulders partly covered with grass and the tree roots that break free from the ground give free rein to the viewer’s eye, allowing him to enjoy the harmonious relation between the forest and the vault of the summer sky with its scattering of clouds. Once the glory of the old estate, a pine tree-lined alley that used to lead to the summer-house rotunda is now barely discernible – only a few trees remain, interspersed with the large stumps of others that have been felled. The pines that covered the hillside and which inspired the artist are now also mostly gone. However, contemporary 19th century memoirs tell us that the whole slope at Bratsevo was clad in pine forest that continued right up to the manor house, and that views of the wooded slopes opened out from the clearing and from the shore of the estate pond. The artistic qualities of Pine Forest lend it special importance as a turning point in Shishkin’s work. It is a remarkably complete, vivid forest scene, full of air and light, and executed in the best classical tradition. Carefully thought out and flawlessly executed, the picture is a precursor to all subsequent masterpieces by this illustrious Russian landscape painter. Indeed, it was Shishkin’s paintings based on the Bratsevo sketches that drew him to the attention of the influential philanthropist and collector Pavel Tretyakov, the founder of the State Tretyakov Gallery, who was instrumental in bringing the artist success and public recognition.

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BERKOS, MIKHAIL  (1861-1919)

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Description: BERKOS, MIKHAIL (1861-1919) View of the New Jerusalem Monastery, signed. Oil on panel, 13.5 by 22.5 cm. Provenance: Important private collection, USA. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK. Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov.

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*PETROVICHEV, PIOTR  (1874-1947)

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Description: *PETROVICHEV, PIOTR (1874-1947) Vladimir on the Klyazma River, signed. Oil on card, 13.5 by 26.5 cm. Executed in 1917. Provenance: Collection of the artist’s family, Moscow. Private collection, Europe. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Private collection, UK. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov. Exhibited: The Russian Art Exhibition, Grand Central Palace, New York, 1924. Literature: Exhibition catalogue, C. Brinton, The Russian Art Exhibition, New York, Grand Central Palace, 1924, No. 606, listed. I. Kruglyi, Petr Ivanovich Petrovichev, Leningrad, Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1975, p. 138, listed under works from 1917.

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BROVAR, YAKOV  (1864-1941)

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Description: BROVAR, YAKOV (1864-1941) Winter Forest, signed. Oil on canvas, 70 by 50 cm . Provenance: Private collection, Europe. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

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