7 June 2017
Reclining Nude and Neskuchnoe, double-sided work
One side pastel, the other watercolour and tempera, on paper , 40 by 61 cm.
Reclining Nude executed c. 1921–1922 and Neskuchnoe before 1917.
Provenance: Private collection, Europe.
Private collection, UK.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert E. Lanceray of the Serebriakova Trust.
Zinaida Serebriakova’s lovely pastel Reclining Nude that is here presented for auction splendidly reflects the artist’s ability to find and emphasise the natural beauty of a life in which the spiritual and physical principles are in harmony. The poeticisation of femininity is the theme that is uppermost in Serebriakova’s work throughout the 1920s and 1930s, giving rise to a whole succession of inspired pictures of young, dreamy models that brought the artist worldwide renown as a sophisticated painter of the female body.
Serebriakova ecstatically delights in her model and creates an unreservedly sensual image of a naked young woman, accurately recording the complex pose with a sinuous outline. Since she did not seek to paint in order to please the public, the artist herself preferred to decide on the extent to which her works had reached their final form, guided only by the tasks that she had set. The work offered for sale, just like the Torso of 1930 in the collection of the State Russian Museum, is one of a number of vivacious, delicate works, in which the pastel lends a softness to the tone and the fragmentary nature of the composition imparts to the picture the reality of a real-life scene.
The skilfully executed composition on the back of the sheet, depicting figures against the background of a sunlit meadow, highlights once again Serebriakova’s painterly skill. The sketch was most likely made by the artist of her mother, Ekaterina Nikolaevna Lanceray (the lady beneath the parasol), and shows her relaxing with a friend on a hillock at the Neskuchnoe estate near Moscow.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.