6 June 2018 Russian Art Auctions

6 Jun 2018

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


Children's Masquerade

* 129. GRIGORIEV, BORIS (1886-1939)

Children's Masquerade, signed and dated 1912, also further signed, inscribed in Cyrillic "(Teatr.")", titled and dated on the reverse.

Pencil, watercolour, gouache and ink on cardboard, 35 by 47 cm.
50,000-70,000 GBP


Provenance: Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert E. Zhukova.

Exhibited: Treffpunkt Paris! Russlands Kunstler zwischen Cezannismus und Lyrischer Abstraktion, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, 5 September–23 November 2003.
Boris Grigoriev, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, 21 April–29 August 2011, No. 44.

Literature: A. Burtsev, “Khudozhnik Boris Dimitrievich Grigoriev i ego tvorchestvo”, Moi zhurnal dlia nemnogikh, No. 1, 1913, illustrated in black and white.
Exhibition catalogue, Treffpunkt Paris! Russlands Kunstler zwischen Cezannismus und Lyrischer Abstraktion, Koblenz, Ludwig Museum, 2003, p. 103, illustrated.
T. Galeeva, Boris Dmitrievich Grigoriev, St Petersburg, Zolotoi Vek, 2007, No. 34, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Boris Grigoriev, St Petersburg, Palace Editions, 2011, p. 54, No. 44, illustrated.
R. Antipova, Pskovskaia vystavka Borisa Grigorieva, Moscow, Astreiatsentr, 2015, vol. 2, p. 78, llustrated.
Iu. Rybakova, “Proizvedeniia B. D. Grigorieva”, Antikvarnyi mir, April 2017, p. 119, illustrated.

Children’s Masquerade is one of Boris Grigoriev’s early works, nowadays rarely encountered outside museum collections. From 1910 to 1913 this talented draughtsman worked as a book illustrator for the well-known journalist and publisher Alexander Burtsev, the artist was then responsible for the design of many publications on ethnography and folklore.

Grigoriev was closely connected with Russia’s artistic life and maintained creative and social links with the members of the World of Art movement, with whom he exhibited from 1914, as well as with the Futurists.

In this work, the characters who fill the stage for the children’s masquerade reference those from Russian folktales, and are reminiscent of the protagonists in the works of Sergei Sudeikin and Konstantin Somov, both of whom had had a considerable influence on Grigoriev. The fantasmagorical, merry atmosphere is emphasised by the decorative forms and colourful embellishments of the protagonists' costumes, and the enchanting combination of rounded and fragile forms underlines the fairytale atmosphere of the subject.

This rare work will be of particular interest to collectors as a superb example of the early, very expressive and poetic period of Grigoriev’s career.


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.