On the River Protva. Fisherman, signed, also further signed, numbered "1628" and dated 1953 on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 72.5 by 64 cm.
Provenance: A gift from the artist to his friend Avrelian Rubbakh (1896–1976), a composer and Professor at the Moscow Conservatoire, 1953.
Thence by descent.
Acquired from the above by a previous owner.
Private collection, UK.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert A. Gusarova.
Literature:Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 157, listed as “zhi 1340”.
The work is accompanied by a letter from the A. Rubbakh family, confirming its provenance.
Philosophical universalisation was intrinsic to the work of the outstanding Moscow artist Petr Konchalovsky – more so than to any other. He was equally skilled at painting portraits, still lifes and landscapes of his native Central Russia.
As a landscapist, Konchalovsky should be considered epic rather than lyric. His landscapes are characterised by a celebratory, emotional universalisation and the heady and whole-hearted fusion of nature with the restless essence of man. However, in Konchalovsky’s interpretation there is no soulless, overwhelming pantheism suggesting – as, for example, with the classic Romantic artists – a complete and total domination of man by nature. Instead, here we have an optimistic confrontation between elemental force and human reason, anticipating some kind of dramatic denouement rather than a charmless and pusillanimous compromise. This proud and heroic subtext was characteristic of much of the best Russian work of the post-war period – a category that certainly includes Konchalovsky’s On the River Protva. Fisherman, which the artist painted in 1953 for his friend, a composer and Professor at the Moscow Conservatoire, Avrelian Rubbakh.