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Important Russian Art and Imperial Provenance at MacDougall's on 5 June 2019 in London


On June 5th, 2019 leading Russian art auction house MacDougall’s is hosting their next auction in London and offering rare masterpieces of Russian artists and survived part of the Imperial service with outstanding provenance.

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Boris Kustodiev (1878–1927). Bakhchisarai.
Boris Kustodiev (1878–1927). “Bakhchisarai”.
Signed and dated 1917.
Oil on canvas. 80,5* 94 cm.
More images here.

The top lot at the upcoming auction is Boris Kustodiev’s “Bakhchisarai”, dated 1917, (estimated at 1,200,000-1,800,000 GBP) featuring rare for the artist Oriental subject. Kustodiev went to the Crimea for medical treatments in 1915 and was not very happy as it was documented in his letters. The artist did not get the expected result to recover from his illness. It is likely that the only artwork from that trip was a watercolour study executed in Bakhchisarai, which is housed in the National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. The artistic composition and structure of this small study was used by Kustodiev to execute a big painting on a canvas when he was back to Petrograd. “Bakhchisarai” is mainly about the colours and light, which the artist could observe in the evening in the little Tatar town. The arrangement on the canvas of many figures and the wholeness of detail naturalistically conveys the atmosphere and a universal image of the east. Kustodiev’s world view is remarkably realistic and individualistic at the same time. The artist abstains from literally reproducing “natural” colours in his “Bakhchisarai”, he would rather use clear colours to create light and hue contrast to precisely express the state of nature and show the spirit of the picture.

Note: Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

Provenance:

  • Collection of N.D. Andersen, Leningrad.
  • Acquired by the grandfather of a previous owner.
  • Private collection, UK.

Exhibited:

  • "Mir Iskusstva", Petrograd, 1918.
  • "Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev", State Russian Museum, Leningrad, 1959.

Literature:

  • Exhibition catalogue "Mir Iskusstva", St Petersburg, 1918, p. 9, No. 174, listed.
  • V. Voinov, "B.M. Kustodiev", Leningrad, Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1925, p. 84, listed under the works from 1917.
  • Exhibition catalogue, "Kustodiev", Leningrad, 1959, p. 37, listed under the works from 1917.
  • M. Etkind, "Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev", Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1960, p. 197, listed under the works from 1915, marked as completed in 1917.
  • M. Etkind, "Boris Kustodiev", Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1982, p. 178, listed under the works from 1917.

Related literature:

  • For a study for the present work, see "Gosudarstvennaia kartinnaia galereia Armenii. Zhivopis. Skulptura. Risunok. Teatr. Katalog", Yerevan, Aiastan, 1965, p. 502, listed as "Prodavtsy fruktov. Bakhchisarai".
Viktor Vasnetsov (1848–1926). Young Dreams (Tsesarevich).
Viktor Vasnetsov (1848–1926). “Young Dreams (Tsesarevich)”.
Signed, dated 1918 and 1922.
Oil on canvas. 107*67 cm.
More images here.

The work of the master of Russian history and folklore art Victor Vasnetsov “Young Dreams (Tsesarevich)” (estimated at 650,000-900,000 GBP) shows a romantic image of a child gazing wistfully. Old Russian style painted walls and the ornament of a fabric-upholstered chair, detail of the costume and surroundings of a chamber evoke the patriarchal atmosphere of the royal court of Muscovy. The painting reminds of Vasnetsov’s epic artwork “The Bard” (1910), depicting a boy listening to the singer of Old Russian heroic ballads as one of the main protagonists in the picture. A fair-skinned boy with light-brown hair shown in both paintings is traditional Vasnetsov’s type image: possibly the sitter for these two canvases was the son the artist Vladimir.

Note: Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

Provenance:

  • Private collection, Europe.

Exhibited:

  • "XVII vystavka kartin Soiuza russkikh khudozhnikov", Moscow, 31 December 1922–22 January 1923.
  • "The Russian Art Exhibition", Grand Central Palace, New York, 1924.

Literature:

  • Exhibition catalogue, "Katalog XVII vystavki kartin Soiuza russkikh khudozhnikov", Moscow, 1923, p. 5, No. 42, listed.
  • Exhibition catalogue, C. Brinton, "The Russian Art Exhibition", New York, Grand Central Palace, 1924, No. 812, listed.
  • "Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Mir khudozhnika. Pisma. Dnevniki. Vospominaniia. Suzhdeniia sovremennikov", Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1987, p. 449, mentioned in the text.
  • L. Gladkova, E. Paston, "“Dve raboty Viktora Vasnetsova”, Russkaia galereia", No. 1, 2001, pp. 48–50, illustrated and mentioned in the text.
Georges Annenkov (1889–1974). Portrait of Alexander Bozheryanov.
Georges Annenkov (1889–1974). “Portrait of Alexander Bozheryanov”.
Signed with initials.
Ink and collage with paper on paper. 28*43 cm.
More images here.

“Portrait of Alexander Bozheryanov” (estimated at 250,000-400,000 GBP) was created by the prominent Russian graphic artist Yury Annenkov. The portrait was executed probably in 1921 when both Bozheryanov and Annenkov worked on decorations for the production at the Volnaia Komediia theatre in Petrograd.

The portrait belongs to the “Portraits” series, which the artist created making portraits of his contemporaries and Russian culture activists. All portraits are deliberately made with black ink and pencil on paper and follow two principles: the picture shows just the head of a model and features incisive lines in the spirit of European Art Deco.

“Portrait of Alexander Bozheryanov” conveys a sociobiographical note: Bozheryanov is depicted with the tools of his trade in the background (a bottle of ink and a tube of paint) as well as the sketches of Petrograd from times of the artist.

Provenance:

  • Private collection, Europe.

Literature:

  • Yu. Annenkov, "Portrety", Petrograd, Petropolis, 1922, p. 111, illustrated; p. 166, listed.
Fedor Rokotov (c. 1735-1808). Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin.
Fedor Rokotov (c. 1735-1808). “Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin”.
Oil on canvas. 61,5*47,5 cm.
More images here.

“Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin” (estimated at 200,000-300,000 GBP) was painted by Fedor Rokotov probably in 1760-1770 as Panin was awarded The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called for him being 12 years at diplomatic service. The discussion among art historians also lead to the opinion that the portrait could be painted in 1766-1767 during the work of Rokotov at the series of portraits of Ekaterina II intended for Russian embassies abroad. A similar portrait of Panin by the 18th century artist Vasily Yaroslavsky is currently kept in the vault of the State Russian Museum.

Note: Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert L. Markina. Authenticity certificate from the expert E. Ivanova.

Provenance:

  • Collection of Otto Andrup, Director of the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark, from c. 1912 until 1955.
  • "Auction of the Estate of Otto Andrup", Bruun Rasmussen, sale 68, 1955, lot 28.
  • Collection of Sigvard Skov, Director of Koldinghus Castle Museum, Denmark, from 1955 until 1987.
  • Private collection, UK.

Literature:

  • E. Ivanova, E. Rolfe-Smith, A. Berezin, "Portret N.I. Panina v rannem nasledii F.S. Rokotova", "Antikvarnyi mir", No. 11, April 2017, pp. 137–151.
Petr Konchalovsky (1876–1956). Santi Apostoli, Venezia.
Petr Konchalovsky (1876–1956). "Santi Apostoli, Venezia".
Signed. Also further signed, titled, numbered “551” and dated 1924 on the reverse.
Oil on canvas. 79*61 cm.
More images here.

“Santi Apostoli, Venezia” (estimated at 300,000-500,000 GBP) was painted by Petr Konchalovsky in 1924 during his business trip to Venice. That journey to Italy was possible after a lengthy negotiations between the USSR and Italy, when it was finally decided to show new Soviet art at the Venice Biennale. Some of Konchalovsky’s works were among other 600 paintings to be sent to Italy. The artist visited Italy earlier in 1903, however at that time it was Rome that impressed him so much that he wanted to come back. So he did and left Venice for Rome. On his way back to Russia Konchalovsly visited Venice again and was fascinated with its architecture. The artist expressed his absolutely new view on Venice on a canvas: the cold tone of stone, the green of the water’s surface, and the warm, sun-heated colours of the old painted walls together with compositional dynamics imbue the painting with great inner energy.

Provenance:

  • Acquired by a previous owner from Konchalovsky's exhibition in London in 1925.
  • Private collection, UK.
  • "Russian Pictures", Sotheby’s London, 21 May 2003, lot 192.
  • Private collection, Switzerland.

Exhibited:

  • "Exhibition of P. Konchalovsky", London, 1925.

Literature:

  • V. Nikolskii, "Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky", Moscow, Vsekokhudozhnik, 1936, p. 12, listed under the year 1924.
  • "Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie", Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 110, listed as “zhi 400”.
  • M. Neiman, "P.P. Konchalovsky", Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1967, listed under the year 1924.
Alexander Yakovlev (1887–1938). Portrait of a Chinese Man.
Alexander Yakovlev (1887–1938). “Portrait of a Chinese Man”.
C. 1918. Sanguine, charcoal and crayon on paper, laid on paper.
155*63,5 cm.
More images here.

“Portrait of a Chinese Man” by Alexander Yakovlev (estimated at 150,000-200,000 GBP), the one and a half metre in height artwork, is a very rare picture that the artist produced on such a scale. The portrait was created during the first trip of Yakovlev to the Far East during 1917-1919. At that time the artist visited Mongolia, Japan and China on a scholarship from the Academy of Arts. He visited temples and poor neighbourhoods in towns, accompanied camel drivers, went out to sea with fishermen, befriended pearl divers and attended festive ceremonies. The portrait is an example of a great skill of drawing and revealing a character of a model.

Note: Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert E. Yakovleva.

Provenance:

  • Collection of the opera singer Alexandra Yakovleva (1889–1979), the artist’s sister.
  • Acquired from the above by the previous owner in 1978 (inscription on the backing paper).
  • Private collection, USA.

Exhibited:

  • Possibly, "Exhibition of works by Alexander Yakovlev", Gallery Barbazanges, Paris, April–May 1920.
  • Possibly, "Exhibition of works by Alexander Yakovlev", Grafton Gallery, London, May–June 1920.
Konstantin Yuon (1875–1958). Landscape with Skiers.
Konstantin Yuon (1875–1958). “Landscape with Skiers”.
C. 1915. Signed.
Oil on canvas. 76*111,5 cm.
More images here.

A large scale “Landscape with Skiers” (estimated at 550,000-800,000 GBP) by Konstantin Yuon was painted in the 1910s, when the artist and his wife moved to the village of Ligachevo near Moscow. During that period winter landscapes became Konstantin Yuon’s favourite genre, which he painted en plein air. He then would take the work home to proceed again with the next open air session.

“Landscape with Skiers” compositionally emphasises the rhythm generated by the movement of the children and colour masses of the trees arranged in a cascade, as well as the marks of the skis in the snow. The artist conveys the softness of pink hues of the snow combining it with the reflections of the sunlight reaching the effect of fresh cold air in the picture. The genre element with the children skiing and dogs playing creates a cosy atmosphere of the Moscow environs of bygone times.

Примечание: Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the experts V. Kruglov and E. Shilova.

Provenance:

  • Collection of M.A. Yablokov, Moscow, c. 1918.
  • Private collection, Europe.

Literature:

  • Reproduced on a postcard, 1916.
  • A. Koiransky, K.F. Yuon, Petrograd, A.E. Kogan, 1918, p. 42, illustrated; p. 74, listed under works from 1915.
  • N. Tretyakov, Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1957, p. 106, listed under works from 1915.

A survived part of the Imperial Service

Десертная тарелка

More images here.

The auction will feature an outstanding collection of porcelain dessert plates from the dowry service of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna. The service from the Imperial Porcelain Factory was specially made in 1843-1844 by order from Emperor Nicholas I for his daughter. The collection counts 61 lots (lot 311-373).

Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna was the fourth child of Nicholas I and Alexandra Feodorovna and the first wife of Prince Frederick William of Hesse-Kassel. She was born in Tsarskoye Selo in 1825 and was affectionally known as “Adini”. Prince Frederick and Adini fell in love during his visit to St Petersburg in winter of 1843 and their engagement was announced on 28 June 1843. Unfortunately, Adini became ill with tuberculosis before her wedding and passed away shortly afterwards never having left Russia for her new home. At the insistence of the Emperor Nicholas I and the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the Dowry, which had already been shipped to Grand Duchy of Hesse, remained there at the disposal of the Prince.

Provenance:

  • The offered plates were part of an extensive dowry of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna (1825–1844) for her wedding in 1844 to Frederick William, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (1820–1884).
  • Collection of Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel after Alexandra’s death.
  • Collection of Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel (1823– 1899), sister of Prince Frederick William.
  • Collection of Vilhelm Carl, Baron von Blixen-Finecke (1863–1942), son of Princess Augusta.
  • Thence by descent.
  • "International Autumn Sale", Bukowski, Stockholm, 29 November 2007, lots 1151–1180.
  • Important private collection, Europe.

Related literature:

  • For plates from the same service, see exhibition catalogue, "St. Petersburg um 1800. Ein goldenes Zeitalter des russischen Zarenreichs. Meisterwerke und authentische Zeugnisse der Zeit aus der Staatlichen Ermitage, Leningrad", Recklingshausen, Aurel Bongers Verlag, 1990, p. 160.
  • "Sankt-Peterburg. Portret goroda i gorozhan", St Petersburg, Palace Editions, 2003, p. 86, Nos. 138 and 140.
Dessert Plate
A Porcelain Dessert Plate from the Dowry Service of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna with depiction of Fanny Elssler (1810–1884), an Austrian ballerina, as Florinda in the dance La Cachucha from the 1836 ballet Le Diable boiteux.
The Imperial Porcelain Factory, period of Nicholas I (1825-1855).
Diameter 23,5 cm.
More images here.

A considerable proportion of the dessert plates in Alexandra Nikolaevna’s service dedicated to masquerade and theatrical costumes theme. A plate with a cream ground portraying the outstanding Austrian ballerina Fanny Elssler (1810-1884) performing the Spanish La Cachucha folk dance in the ballet Le Diable boiteux by Jean Coralli (estimated at 2,000-3,000 GBP) is of great interest. Fanny Elssler (1810-1884) came to St Petersburg at the personal invitation of Nicholas I, and for three seasons she appeared at the Imperial theatres of Moscow and St Petersburg.

Dessert Plate
A Porcelain Dessert Plate from the Dowry Service of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna with depiction of officers of the Palace Grenadiers and the Minister of the Imperial Court and Properties Pyotr Volkonsky (1776–1852).
The Imperial Porcelain Factory, period of Nicholas I (1825-1855).
Diameter 23,5 cm.
More images here.

The dessert plates feature details from pictures by the most popular painters of the 19th century and works of art from the main collection in the Winter Palace. The paintings were sent directly from imperial residences to the porcelain factory for copying. In particular, the details of canvasses by the court painter Adolphe Ladurner (1799-1855) were reproduced to decorate the service. A detail of one of the emperor’s favourite paintings by Ladurner "Part of the White (Armorial) Hall in the Winter Palace" from the Hermitage collection was used on the plate with a powder pink ground depicting the officers of a company of the Palace Grenadiers and the Minister of the Imperial Court and Properties Prince Pyotr Volkonsky (1776-1852) (estimated at 10,000-15,000 GBP).

Dessert Plate
A Porcelain Dessert Plate from the Dowry Service of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna with a view of the Alexander Column through the arch of the General Staff Building, St Petersburg.
The Imperial Porcelain Factory, period of Nicholas I (1825-1855).
Diameter 23,5 cm.
More images here.

Views of St. Petersburg and imperial residences (Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, Gatchina and Pavlovsk) were taken as primary sources for the depiction of architectural monuments. A dessert plate with a cream ground is painted after the drawing by Karl Beggrov (1799–1875), “Arch of the General Staff Building”, 1820s–1830s (estimated at 10,000-15,000 GBP).

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