Sotheby’s showed in Moscow the top lots of the June auction of Russian art Automatic translate
Sotheby’s auction house decided to show the Moscow public the masterpieces of the upcoming Russian auction in London. An exhibition of the top lots of the upcoming June auction took place at the State Historical Museum on Red Square for several days until May 20, 2011. The collection included 24 works by major Russian painters from the 19th to the 21st centuries, including works by Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, Alexander Evgenievich Yakovlev, Ilya Efimovich Repin and Eric Bulatov. In addition, the exhibition presented unique works by Frantisek Kupka from the Hasko collection, which are a prime example of modern Czech art in the first half of the 20th century.
London auction of Russian art, June 2011.
The auction of masterpieces of Russian art will be held in London on June 6, 7 and 8, 2011. The main lot of the upcoming auction is “Portrait of Vera Repina” by Ilya Repin (1844-1930), dated 1878 and considered one of the artist’s best works. On the canvas, the artist captured his young wife sitting in an armchair with an open book in her hands. Repin met Vera Shevtsova (1855-1918) when she was only nine years old. Love for Shevtsova inspired the artist to create a number of paintings that we admire today. The portrait of Repin’s brush, presented at the London auction, remained in Vera’s apartment on Karpovka until her death, after which she was sold by Shevtsova’s daughter to one of private collectors.
Repin Ilya Efimovich - Portrait of Vera Repina (1878)
It is known that Vera fell in love with Repin while still a student at the Mariinsky Institute. When in 1872 she was 16 years old, Ilya and Vera got married. Being 10 years younger than Repin, the young Shevtsova hardly corresponded to the intellectual level of her brilliant husband, but she was a sympathetic, friendly and childishly direct girl. But Repin and Shevtsova were not destined to be together: over time, their relationship deteriorated, and 9 years after the aforementioned portrait was painted, the couple broke up. In 1894, the couple again converged to finally disperse in 1900.
“Portrait of Vera Repina” refers to the time when the lovers were still well. This is the only portrait of the artist’s wife, who still continues to be outside museum collections. It is known that Ilya Repin became famous primarily due to his portraiture, therefore it is expected that the appearance at the auction of such a unique and so “intimate” work of the artist will cause great interest from collectors. The price for the painting is set at an impressive 1-1.5 million pounds.
Another rarity at Sotheby’s upcoming London auction is a series of outstanding works by the Russian painter Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin (1842-1904). These magnificent examples of the museum level have not been exhibited publicly since 1900 and are new to the art market. 25 paintings and 50 sketches make up the so-called Balkan cycle, written by Vereshchagin under the impression of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-78. One of the most impressive works of the cycle is Shipka Pass, which not only reflects the key events of Russian history, but also, thanks to the restraint and minimalism of the drawing, is an excellent example of modern painting by Vereshchagin. On the eve of the hostilities of 1878, Vereshchagin, driven by patriotism and the desire to “see with his own eyes the European war”, joins the troops of the Russian army as a volunteer. The artist so truthfully and realistically reproduced the death war that he subsequently seriously feared that his Balkan series of paintings would be destroyed by the current government. And not in vain: despite the great interest of Alexander III and Grand Duke Nicholas in acquiring the Balkan series of Vereshchagin, some of the canvases were considered too bold and revealing, in connection with which the Prussian attache strongly recommended that the tsar buy and destroy the whole cycle. Ultimately, the five most significant works were acquired by Pavel Tretyakov, another five paintings were bought by Kiev sugar baron Ivan Tereshchenko, and the rest of the cycle was scattered around the world after the New York auction in 1891. The painting "Shipka Pass" was estimated by experts at 300-500 thousand pounds.
Vereshchagin Vasily Vasilievich - Military campaign
“Military campaign” is another remarkable work from the Balkan cycle of Vereshchagin, originating from a large European collection. The handwritten document of October 15, 1904, written by the artist’s widow in Russian and confirming the authenticity of the work, is attached to the canvas. The document indicates that the painting remained in the artist’s collection until his death in 1904, after which Vereshchagin’s wife was forced to sell the canvas in order to pay off her debts. “Military campaign” is an extremely complex, interesting and, perhaps, the most ambitious of all canvases of the Balkan cycle. Estimate paintings - 400-600 thousand pounds.
Vereshchagin Vasily Vasilievich - Taj Mahal. Evening
“Taj Mahal. Evening ”- one of the most significant works of Vasily Vereshchagin, written by him after a trip to India in 1874-1876. As you know, Vereshchagin’s favorite trick was the image of the same monuments or landscapes at different times of the day, from different perspectives and under different lighting conditions. That is how several versions of the Taj Mahal appeared. The smaller canvas, which shows the view of the Taj Mahal from the river in bright daylight, is stored in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery. Two other views illustrating the Taj Mahal from the side of the garden in the morning and evening light were exhibited at the New York auction of American Art Galleries. Recall that at the same auction, the Taj Mahal. Evening "presented at the current auction. In brightness, depth and color intensity, the Indian works of Vereshchagin are in many ways superior to his earlier works, including the Turkestan series. The picture is estimated at 250-450 thousand pounds.
Aivazovsky Ivan Konstantinovich - Crimea. Shepherds with herd at sunset
Another notable lot presented at the London auction will be the painting “Crimea. Shepherds with a herd at sunset ”(1859, oil on canvas) painted by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900). The canvas depicts a herd of sheep grazing in the steppe - a theme that repeatedly arises throughout the artist’s work. Aivazovsky often depicted sheep grazing peacefully in the Crimean steppes and in Ukraine, before shearing, bathing in the Black Sea, in heavy rain, or huddled together under the warm rays of the setting sun. The shepherd theme in the artist’s works takes on particular activity in the years 1870–80. There are more than a dozen works with a similar plot; they adorn the museums of Omsk, Irkutsk, Odessa, Ashkhabad, Ulan-Ude and Chelyabinsk. Another painting, “Sheep in the Pasture” (1850s), is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. Estimate of one of the most beautiful works of Aivazovsky “Crimea. Shepherds with a herd at sunset "is 0.8-1.2 million pounds.
Serebryakova Zinaida Evgenievna - Reclining Nude
Another gem of the upcoming auction in the London auction house will be “Reclining Nude” Zinaida Serebryakova (1884-1967). Purchased from the artist’s family by the current owner, this painting is considered one of the best large-format works of Zinaida Serebryakova that have ever appeared at auction. “Reclining Nude” was written during the heyday of the artist’s creative talent and in many ways resembles nudity from the paintings of Edgar Degas and Eduard Manet. And this is not surprising, because Serebryakova arrived in Paris in the mid-20s and, undoubtedly, was influenced by Parisian masters. The central theme in the artist’s work was plastic surgery of a naked female body, however, starting from the mid-30s, nudes on Serebryakova’s canvases appeared less and less. This was due to the fact that almost all Russian girls posing for Serebryakova in Paris had married by 1934, and the artist did not have enough money to pay for professional models. “Reclining Nude” Zinaida Serebryakova is the property of the European private collection and is estimated at 600-800 thousand pounds.
Of the two works that will be presented at the upcoming auction as the brightest examples of contemporary art, the Winter should be particularly noted (oil on canvas) by Eric Bulatov (born in 1933). The canvas was completed in 1988, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, during the artist’s most fruitful period. “Winter” comes from a private collection and is estimated by Sothesby’s experts at 60-80 thousand pounds.
High estimate - 08-1.2 million pounds - received the Beijing Opera (1918) by Alexander Yakovlev. One of the artist’s most significant and most interesting paintings, created during the artist’s travel to the Far East in 1918, reflects Yakovlev’s idea that only by appreciating the wealth of Ancient China can one know the essence of modern China. The composition, which is exceptionally bold by a promising solution, supposedly illustrates one of the scenes of the opera Pavilion of the Peonies (16th century) by the poet Tan. It is known that in the future this piece of music became one of the most famous Chinese classical operas about perfect love.
Collection of Czech art by the Hasko family, June 2011.
“Divertissement II” (oil on canvas) by Frantisek Kupka (1871–1957) is one of the artist’s two paintings presented at the exhibition and included in the collection of the Hasko family. Both works will be put up for sale during the upcoming auction of contemporary Czech art on June 13, 2011 in London. Written in 1935, "Divertissement II" is a clear evidence of the artist’s true love of music; a little earlier, in 1909, Kupka expressed this feeling in his painting “Piano Keys: Lake” (National Gallery, Prague). The name of the work, “Divertissement II” (lit. “entertainment”) refers to the light musical entertainment genre, which was extremely popular in the 18th century. Indeed, Kupka’s canvas is literally mesmerizing with a combination of rhythmic forms and colors resembling dancing figures. The picture is estimated at 300-500 thousand pounds.
Written in 1946, The White Circle marks the highest point in the development of the artistic vision of Kupka, one of the leading masters of European abstractionism in the interwar period. In 1931, Frantisek Kupka became one of the founders and members of the Abstraction-Creation group in Paris. The artist’s painting gradually evolved from the riot of colors inherent in his earlier works to pronounced color restraint using only a few shades: red, blue and yellow on a white background. Creating a feeling of absolute harmony and balance, Kupka’s compositions send the viewer simultaneously to futurism and purism, as well as to avant-garde architecture. Like Vasily Kandinsky, Kupka can be called an artist-thinker who sought to provide a conceptual justification for his art. The artist studied colors, optics, cosmology, physiology, biology and anthropology, wrapping the acquired scientific knowledge in an art form. The “White Circle” combines several different “semantic planes” at once: the separation and interaction of colors, the relationship between the earth and stars, the relationship between images and forms, and the dominant orange disk symbolizes the sunset and sunrise over a futuristic city. The magnificent work of Kupka was estimated by experts at 300-500 thousand pounds.