MacDougall's
English Russian
English Russian

Important Russian Art at MacDougall’s – highlights of the auction in June 2018


On June 6th, 2018 leading Russian art auction house MacDougall’s is hosting their next auction in London.

Konstantin Somov’s “Meeting in the Park” (£500,000–700,000), dated 1919, is to be offered at the upcoming auction. The so-called “gallant scene” is different from earlier works of the artist due to its lyricism and naïveté and refers to the period when a series of compositions, depicting young ladies and their beaux, were created. Difficult post-revolutionary experiences manifested themselves in Somov’s creation of cheerful scenes conveying the carefree attitudes of the subjects in his paintings. The sitter depicted in the painting is the very same woman featured in his painting “Summer” (1919), now part of the Russian Museum collection. The artist once mentioned that women in his pictures reflect himself as much as his “mockery of the eternal feminine that is repugnant to my being.”

Konstantin Somov. Pine Meeting in the Park. Oil on canvas, 40.5 by 31 cm. 1919
Konstantin Somov (1869-1939)
Meeting in the Park. Oil on canvas,
40.5 by 31 cm. 1919

An important event for MacDougall's will be the appearance of Pavel Kuznetsov’s “Fountain” (£250,000–500,000), dated 1904, at the upcoming auction. The signature fountain image characteristic of the painter’s art represents the manifestation of symbolism in paintings that stood at the origins of the “Silver Age” of Russian culture. Even before the foundation of the “Blue Rose” art group, fountains had already appeared in the paintings of Pavel Kuznetsov between 1904 and 1907. Taking into account that a major part of the artwork made by Pavel Kuznetsov was destroyed in the fire at the Black Swan villa in 1911, the present work of art is particularly important as some of the only surviving legacy of the artist. The Black Swan villa belonged to Nikolain Ryabushinsky – a patron of the “Blue Rose” and a collector of Kuznetsov's paintings.

Pavel Kuznetsov. Fountain. Oil on canvas, 64 by 87 cm. 1904
Pavel Kuznetsov (1878-1968)
Fountain. Oil on canvas,
64 by 87 cm. 1904

The portrait “La liseuse endormie, Madeleine Castaing” (£300,000–500,000), painted in c. 1937 by Chaïm Soutine, is primarily characterised by its grotesque representation and the unusual angle, which makes it particularly expressive. Considering that the depicted model was a good friend and patron of the artist, this portrait has a direct relation to the biography of Chaïm Soutine. Madeleine Castaing often posed for Soutine, who, despite his impetuous character, trusted her immensely and would often ask for her advice during a rendition. Passionate art connoisseurs and prominent collectors in Paris, Madeleine and Marcellin Castaing owned the paintings of such artists as Modigliani, Rouault, Picasso, Gris, Leger, and it is they themselves who were the main collectors of the works of art of Chaïm Soutine.

Chaim Soutine. La liseuse endormie, Madeleine Castaing. Oil on canvas, 57 by 41.5 cm. c. 1937
Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)
La liseuse endormie, Madeleine Castaing. Oil on canvas,
57 by 41.5 cm. c. 1937

Prominent landscape master Ivan Shishkin’s “Pine Forest. Yelbuga” (£800,000–1,200,000), dated 1897, is the most important piece of the upcoming auction. From its catalogue description, the almost one-and-a-half-metre-tall canvas is a remake of Shishkin’s earlier painting “Pine Forest. Sukhostoi”. The tradition to remake particularly precious landscapes was a characteristic feature of Ivan Shishkin’s work. This aspect is reflected in the present painting, where the composition of “Pine Forest. Sukhostoi” is repeated on canvas with hardly any noticeable changes. Possibly, “Pine Forest. Yelbuga” was part of the Itinerant exhibitions of Ivan Shishkin, where it was displayed together with the painting “Pine Forest. Sukhostoi”. The period of creation of “Pine Forest. Yelbuga” falls on the later years of Ivan Shishkin’s life, which represent the peak of his artistic mastery. In MacDougall's catalogue, this painting is characterised a museum quality work as “one of the best examples of epic landscapes”.

Ivan Shishkin. Pine Forest. Yelabuga. Oil on canvas, 147 by 91 cm. 1897
Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898)
Pine Forest. Yelabuga. Oil on canvas,
147 by 91 cm. 1897
The offered lot illustrated in Zhivopisnoe obozrenie, 1899
Art and literary magazine "Zhivopisnoe obozrenie", No. 2, 1899, with the illustration of Ivan Shishkin's painting "Sukhostoi" in black and white.
The catalogues of the Itinerant exhibitions of Ivan Shishkin's paintings, 1898 and 1904.

No less important for the upcoming auction is Ivan Khrutsky's “Still Life with Fruit and Honeycomb” (£350,000–500,000). This large-scale canvas was painted at the peak of the artist’s fame in 1840 and is one of his best paintings in terms of composition and execution. Ivan Khrutsky was known for the resemblance of his manner of execution to that of the old masters, for which his paintings were highly valued by his contemporaries. In 1839 he was granted the title of art academic of the Imperial Academy of Arts for “excellence in portrait, landscape, and particularly in the painting of fruit and vegetables.”

Ivan Khrutsky. Still Life with Fruit and Honeycomb. Oil on canvas, 80.5 by 111.5 cm. 1840
Ivan Khrutsky (1810-1885)
Still Life with Fruit and Honeycomb. Oil on canvas,
80.5 by 111.5 cm. 1840

A composite image of a woman reflecting the spirit of the time and embodied in the portrait “Woman in a Yellow Dress” (£300,000–500,000) - a painting by Alexander Deineka dated 1955 - conveys the impression that the artist’s model is a character in a Soviet comedy. The creation of the work happened after the soviet painter had already become one of the best contemporary artists, and was famous for his prominent mosaics in the metro and his monumental compositions in Soviet pavilions for international art fairs.

Alexander Deineka. Woman in a Yellow Dress. Oil on canvas, 65 by 83 cm. 1955
Alexander Deineka (1899-1969)
Woman in a Yellow Dress. Oil on canvas,
65 by 83 cm. 1955

“Reclining Nude” (£180,000–300,000), painted in c. 1959 by prominent Soviet landscape master Georgy Nissky, has an interesting backstory and in addition to that is a very rare work of art of the artist in the genre of the nude figure. Georgy Nissky set up a stage arrangement for study purposes with a nude model at his studio “Artist’s Colony ” on Verkhniaia Maslovka street, to which he invited his old friend Andrey Goncharov. “Nude model. In G. Nissky’s Studio” by Goncharov is now part of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art collection. If comparing the artwork of Goncharov and Nissky, it is interesting to note the difference in composition and palette used by the artists. The nude figure by Andrey Goncharov is depicted more traditionally at an angle, the artist conveying the staging elements - such as the ornament on the jug, the small casting of Rodin’s “The Thinker”, and the variety of fabrics - in great detail. Georgy Nissky chose a panoramic view for his work as is typical for his landscapes, as well as clear colours, which allowed the artist to achieve a wider picture, including the larger objects of his arrangement, such as the bookcase, the bed, and even the rug not shown at all in Gonharov’s artwork.

Georgy Nissky. Reclining Nude. Oil on canvas, 93.5 by 92.5 cm. c. 1959
Georgy Nissky (1903-1987)
Reclining Nude. Oil on canvas,
93.5 by 92.5 cm. c. 1959

Photos of paintings and information: courtesy of MacDougall’s


Recommended

The interview: Martin Hans Borg, Russian Art Expert at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers

Martin Hans Borg, Russian art expert from Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Bredgade 33, Copenhagen, Denmark, talks about the Russian art auction on June 8th, 2018, as well as the role of provenance in the selection of items for auctions. “We have contact with the branches of the Danish royal house, which continuously consigns Russian art treasures to our auctions. It always provides an extraordinary touch when there are royal and imperial provenances on the lots that are up for auction. This is also the case at the summer's Russian auction."

NEXT...
ALL ARTICLES
On May 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2019 the Genevan auction house Piguet will be offering Swiss and fashion watches as well as haute couture bags at their traditional spring auction, and from the 10th to the 20th of May 2019 at their online auction. Among the brands featured are Breitling, Tissot, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe, Hermes, Chanel, Christian Dior, Celine and other.  Next...
  • Views: 6051
On May 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2019, the Genevan auction house Piguet will be hosting their spring auction and offering important works of the renowned artists from the XIX-XXth centuries. The auction will feature three works from the “pearly” period in the career of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), the works of Henri Baptiste Lebasque (1865-1937), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Emil Schumacher (1912-1999), Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), Salvador Dali (1904-1989) as well as "Jeune fille au chapeau interrompant sa broderie" from the master of pastels Jean Étienne Liotard (1702-1789).  Next...
  • Views: 6561
On March 28th, 2019, the German auction house Hampel Fine Art Auctions will be putting up rare works from Repin, Shishkin and Aivazovsky together with icons from the XIXth century and decorative art. The highlights: Ilya Repin (1844-1930) “Portrait of a lady with red rose”, Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898) “Interior with young woman at a table in front of window”, Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900) “Ship in distress” and “Turkish pavilion on riverside with men praying at full moon”.  Next...
  • Views: 6599
During the period from the 18th to the 23rd of March, 2019, the Swiss auction house Schuler Auktionen will be putting up Russian icons from the XVI-XVIII centuries and pieces of decorative arts at the upcoming auction. Among the top lots are some Russian cloisonné enamel pieces from the XIXth century, as well as a collection of Faberge-inspired works with a Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg, made after the model by Faberge, which was gifted by the Emperor Nicholas II to his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, and currently held in the Kremlin Armoury.  Next...
  • Views: 6567
During the period from the 18th to the 23rd of March, 2019, the Swiss auction house Schuler Auktionen will be offering works of European painters from the XVI-XIX centuries at the upcoming sale. Eduard von Grützner’s (Gross-Karlowitz, 1846 – Munich, 1925) “Rauenthaler” tasting wine is among the top lots together with the works of religious art by Hendrick van Somers (Lockeren, 1607 – Naples, 1655), Gaudenzio Ferrari (1477/78, Valduggia–Milan, 1546), Giovanni Ghisolfi (Milan, 1623 – Rome, 1683) and other renowned European painters.  Next...
  • Views: 5107
During the period from the 2nd to the 14th of March, 2019, until 21:00 (GMT+1) the Genevan auction house Piguet is hosting their online auction featuring following categories: Contemporary art, Middle East and Far East art, Canes, Light and furniture of the XXth century, Leather accessorise, Watches, Watches under 400 CHF, Decorative arts, Porcelain, Swiss painters , Oriental rugs and carpets. The delivery of purchased lots around the world is carried out by the auction house.  Next...
  • Views: 6560
Cesar Santos is a contemporary Cuban-American artist residing in Miami. He is world-renowned for his exquisite technique in oil painting and drawing, as well as his original style known as ‘syncretism’. He studied at Miami Dade College, the New World School of the Arts and the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, which allowed him to learn painting from contemporary and classical perspectives. He received numerous prestigious awards and his works have been on exhibit in museums around the globe – Annigoni Museum in Florence, Beijing Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sicily and the National Gallery in Costa Rica. He is part of the Living Masters' Gallery at the Art Renewal Center (USA).  Next...
  • Views: 2514
On December 13th, 2018, the Finnish auction house Hagelstam & Co. will be hosting an exclusive Scandinavian Modern auction. The artwork by a prominent Finnish abstract artist Ernst Mether-Borgström (1917-1996), a renowned author Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Leena Luostarinen (1949-2013), Ahti Lavonen (1928 – 1970), contemporary Finnish artist Marika Mäkelä (b. 1947), a ceramic sculpture modeled by Michael Shilkin (1900-1962) and a bronze sculpture by Miina Äkkijyrkkä (b. 1949), as well as designer pieces by the originator of the scandinavian design Alvar Aalto (1989-1976) will be offered at the upcoming sale.  Next...
  • Views: 4092
On December 6th, 2018, the German auction house Hampel Fine Art Auctions will be hosting the sale featuring unique works of famous European artists of the XIV-XVIII centuries. The highlights include Hendrick van Avercamp’s (1585 – 1634) “Winter Fun in a Icy Polder Landscape”, a pair of paintings by Jean-Baptiste François Pater (1695 – 1736), the altar triptych, attributed to Giovanni Donato Montorfano (1440 – 1510), Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's (1696 – 1770) “Maria Immacolata”, a pair of paintings by Samuel Masse (1672  – 1753), Hendrik Frans Van Lint’s (1684 – 1763) “Fantasy Landscape”, Jan Brueghel the Younger’s (1601 – 1678) and Otto van Veen’s (1556 – 1629) “Virgin and Child in a Flower Garland” and other works of renowned artists.  Next...
  • Views: 5365