28 November 2018
Auburn Haired Girl Holding Red Roses, signed.
Oil on canvas, 65.5 by 51 cm.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Authenticity has also been confirmed by the expert T. Goriacheva.
Literature: O. Sugrobova-Roth and E. Lingenauber, Alexei Harlamoff. Catalogue raisonné, Düsseldorf, Edition A. Harlamoff, 2007, p. 122, No. 45a, listed; pl. 36a, illustrated.
Related literature: For the portraits of the same sitter, see O. Sugrobova-Roth and E. Lingenauber, Alexei Harlamoff. Catalogue raisonné, Düsseldorf, Edition A. Harlamoff, 2007, pp. 120 and 122, Nos. 40 and 45b, listed; pls. 31 and 36b, illustrated.
Alexei Harlamoff’s Auburn-Haired Girl Holding Red Roses, now presented for auction, is one of the artist’s most expressive child portraits. The model for this particular “head” may have been one of the many female students taught by Pauline Viardot, with whom Harlamoff was on very friendly terms in Paris, where he settled after 1876 and where the canvas was painted. In any case, she cannot be called a random model for the artist’s work, since it is known for a fact that several pictures feature the very same sitter — for example, the well-known work Young Girl with a Veil from the Kyiv National Museum of Russian Art.
Only a few foreign artists in Paris in the last quarter of the 19th century succeeded in achieving fame. Alexei Harlamoff occupies a special place even among these few: the artist entered the history of Russian and French art first and foremost as a master of intimate studio portraiture of women and girls, and his similar so-called heads. His work maintained its popularity among Russian, French, British and American patrons and buyers from the mid-1870s up to the beginning of the 20th century. His skill was specially remarked upon even by a critic seemingly so distant from Harlamoff as Alexander Benois. Harlamoff’s painterly manner is so distinctive that a lover of his art only needs a small fragment of a painting to recognise the hand of the master.
We are grateful to Olga Sugrobova-Roth, an art historian, for providing additional catalogue information
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.