Provenance: Russian Paintings, Sotheby’s London, 10 June 2008, lot 237.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. Private collection, UK.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Exhibited: Possibly, Konstantin Korovin, Khudozhestvennyi salon K. Mikhailovoi, Moscow, December 1921-January 1922.
Literature: Possibly, exhibition catalogue, Konstantin Korovin, Moscow, 1921, No. 53, listed as Vesna. Possibly, A. Kiselev (ed.), Konstantin Korovin. K 150-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya, St Petersburg, Zolotoi vek, 2011, p. 92, No. 53, included in the list of works from the 1921-1922 exhibition under 1920.
Konstantin Korovin painted Spring in the Village during his stay at the Ushakovs’ estate, in Ostrovno village of Vyshnevolotsky district of the Tver Governorate. The picturesque landscape and the warm welcome Korovin was given by the philosopher and religious thinker Boris Vysheslavtsev and his wife Natalia (who was to become the subject of a whole series of the master’s canvasses) marked a new and very special chapter in Korovin’s artistic life.
The wooden terrace depicted in this canvas often featured in the artist’s work and served as the background for numerous landscapes and portraits. The earth, barely free of snow and drenched in sunshine, the radiant blue of the sky and the general upbeat mood evident in the painting are all a reflection of Korovin’s exuberant nature; the joie de vivre that was so much a part of him, and his love for people and for his natural surroundings. The artist’s ebullient brush and the passion with which he records views of his native landscape resonate with the lines from his memoirs: “How lovely Russia is, what music there is in her image ... where there seems to be happiness”.
It is safe to assume that this work was exhibited at the artist’s one-man show (cat. No. 53, Spring) in the art salon of Klavdia Mikhailova, at 11 Bolshaya Dmitrovka, Moscow, which ran from December 1921 until January 1922.