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Sotheby's Russian Pictures and Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Icons Sales

  • Auktion
    Sotheby's Russian Pictures and Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Icons Sales

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SOTHEBY’S LONDON RUSSIAN PICTURES AND RUSSIAN WORKS OF ART, FABERGÉ & ICONS SALES Headlined by a rare Symbolist work on paper by avant-garde master Kazimir Malevich

1 June 2018 - On 5 June, Sotheby’s will bring to the market works by celebrated Russian artists and craftsmen from Malevich to Fabergé in the Russian Pictures and Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons Sales taking place in London. With consignments drawn from prestigious collections from around the world, the sales will offer a unique opportunity to purchase works by some of the most pre-eminent creators of Russian art.

The Secret of Temptation with Portrait of Ivan Kliun on the verso, 1908 (Lot 64) Watercolour, gouache and pencil on card Estimate: £250,000 – 350,000 A rare figurative work on paper this watercolour is one of only a dozen or so original works by Malevich to have appeared at auction in the past decade. Malevich is best-known for his ground-breaking abstract Suprematist works. The Secret of Temptation (1908) dates from the artist’s short Symbolist period at a time when the artist was working on a series of religious-themed works. This work however, is far from celestial. In this bright sunny picture we find an expression of his elevated feelings on sex and the sacred nature of man, speaking volumes about the attitude of the young 29-year-old artist. On the reverse of the present work is a pencil portrait by Malevich of Ivan Kliun (1873-1943), an artist with whom he formed a lifelong friendship just at this period when both were turning to Symbolist subjects and were executing works in a similar, ornate style.

PAVEL TCHELITCHEW Excelsior, 1934 (Lot 74) Oil on canvas £250,000-350,000 From the collection of Seymour Stein In 1934 Tchelitchew was invited by the English Surrealist patron Edward

James to spend the summer at West Dean, his estate in Sussex. The time Tchelitchew spent at West Dean marked a pivotal moment in his artistic development and was the most fruitful of his English period. Excelsior is a reworking of a study from the year before – a portrait in triplicate of Tchelitchew’s partner Charles Henri Ford. In the present painting, the first and most likely the second figure are modelled on Ford, while the third, swarthier one is thought to represent American poet Parker Tyler. Ford’s boyish beauty captivated Tchelitchew and triggered a change of direction in his art. Apart from the commissioned society portraits, in the years before their meeting most of the artist’s figures had been faceless, as in the sand constellation paintings and the dancers of Ode. That the work is in triplicate (discounting the fourth, obscured figure) is significant because it relates to Tchelitchew’s work in triple perspective. There are three distinct vanishing points in one pictoral space as each of the three heads is viewed head-on, from above and from below ‘self-designated as Body, Soul and Spirit’.

PAVEL TCHELITCHEW The Rose Necklace, 1931 (Lot 77) Oil on board Estimate: £60,000-80,000 From the collection of Seymour Stein

The Rose Necklace is a portrait of Charles Levinson, known as ‘Le Vincent’, who was Hanae Rebelo |Hanae.Rebelo@sothebys.com| (0)20 7293 5165 ‘a handsome ex-soldier with a superb necklace of tattooed flowers’ (L.Kirstein, Tchelitchew, Santa Fe, 1994, p.45). With his nonchalant beauty and easy physicality he inspired Tchelitchew to produce a full series of tattooed circus figures. This portrait provides an earthy, sexual counterpoint to Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe (1904) which inspired Tchelitchew’s portraits of Ford and others surrounded by flowers, only here the garland of roses is transposed to the sitter’s chest.

KONSTANTIN ALEXEEVICH KOROVIN House In Gurzuf With A Candlelit Interior, 1913 (Lot 39) Oil on paper laid on canvas Estimate: £150,000-200,000 In the same family collection for over a century, House in Gurzuf with a Candlelit Interior is offered at auction for the very first time. Painted in Korovin’s beloved Gurzuf which inspired so many of his best paintings, this work is from the artist’s most coveted period.

Korovin was interested in the effects of artificial light and evening views form an important part of his oeuvre. His night views of Paris’ Grand Boulevards are well known, but even during his many stays in Crimea, which Korovin as well as other Russian artists loved for its southern light, he turned to this genre.

VLADIMIR FEDOROVICH STOZHAROV Bolshaya Pyssa, 1964 (Lot 138) Oil on card laid on board Estimate: £150,000-200,000 The landscapes, vernacular architecture and the people of rural Russia were major themes in Stozharov’s work. The Russian north in particular was very close to the artist, and he spent many summers in the Arkhangelsk Region as well as the Komi Republic. Stozharov was particularly drawn to the large village of Bolshaya Pyssa, located on the banks of the Mezen river to the east of Arkhangelsk. Its tightly-packed wooden houses appear in many of his canvases, and in many ways the juxtaposition of these unforgiving landscapes with meagre signs of human habitation such as smoking chimneys or washing lines came to embody Stozharov’s vision of the north. A highly respected and successful artist during his lifetime, many of Stozharov’s best works are in public collections, with such large-scale finished works rarely appearing on the market.

  • 05.06.2018
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    Russian Pictures: London, 5 June 2018, 10:30am
    Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons: London, 5 June 2018, 2.30pm

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  • Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons: London, 5 June 2018, 2.30pm
    Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons: London, 5 June 2018, 2.30pm
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
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