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Boris Kustodiev’s Masterpiece to Be Auctioned off in London
 Nov 13, 2012

Boris Kustodiev’s painting “The Coachman” from the collection of the outstanding scientist Pyotr Kapitsa will be first exhibited at the “Masterpieces of Russian Art” auction on November 26, 2012, Voice of Russia reports.

“The painting has an exclusive provenance and rich exhibition history,” Alexis de Tiesenhausen, International Department Head of Russian Art at Christie’s, told the Voice of Russia. “‘The Coachman’ was painted in 1923, after a series of watercolor sketches, and already in 1924, it participated as the main display at the exhibition of the Russian art in New York and was selected as an illustration for a poster.”

The American exhibition of 1924 was, probably, one of the most significant international events in the artistic life of the USSR. The best Russian artists took part in it; a hundred artists represented different schools of painting: from realism to futurism. After the New York exhibition came to its end, the American public did not want to part with the works of Russian artists.

“‘The Coachman’ is one of Kustodiev’s favorite characters; there are several canvases portraying this image in the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum,” Alexis de Tiesenhausen noted. “This painting fully reflects the creative credo of the artist – his desire to convey the essence of the elusive Russian spirit.”

Later ‘The Coachman’ was exhibited at the most prestigious museums and institutes, such as the State Russian Museum (1928) and the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1960).

The canvas is a part of the outstanding collection of the world famous scientist, the Nobel Prize laureate in physics (1978) Pyotr Kapitsa (1894-1984), who was a friend of Kustodiev. Kapitsa bought the painting from the artist's widow in 1936.

“We hope that the picture will attract attention of collectors from all over the world, especially from Russia, as it appears at an auction for the first time and is a part of such a significant collection,” Alexis de Tiesenhausen says.

Russkiy Mir Foundation Information Service

   

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"And we will preserve you, Russian speech,
The great Russian word.
We will keep you free and pure,
And pass you on to our grandchildren,
Free from bondage forever!" Anna Akhmatova "Valor"

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