5 June 2019 Important Russian Art Auctions, at Asia House

5 June 2019

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Bouquet of Flowers on a Red Background

* 57. OSMERKIN, ALEXANDER (1892–1953)

Bouquet of Flowers on a Red Background, signed and dated 1937, also further signed and dated on the reverse.

Oil on canvas, 101 by 80.5 cm.
90,000–120,000 GBP

Provenance: Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert Iu. Rybakova.

The sumptuous work presented in this catalogue, Bouquet of Flowers on a Red Background, is one of Osmerkin’s finest works from the late 1930s. The somewhat unorthodox frontal interpretation of the composition, its mesmerising gracefulness and stunning, contrasting colouristic effects enchant the viewer, conjuring up the delightful scent of fresh flowers. This exquisite work by the outstanding Russian master certainly measures up to other textbook examples of easel painting.

“An absent-minded, gentle lyricist, a lover of poetry, a man with a unique feel for art, devoid of utilitarian concerns, wholeheartedly in love with art, which for him transcended practical considerations or concerns of vanity. He came across as a Don Quixote of art”. Such was the somewhat unexpected testimonial to Alexander Osmerkin by none other than Alexander Deineka, known for his tough, unsentimental approach to art.

Alexander Osmerkin was gifted by nature, with an astonishing feel for the physicality of natural landscapes, his models and objects of nature morte arranged for his still lifes. Irrespective of what this remarkable artist painted, the result invariably defied stylistic categorisation. One of the undisputed leaders of the Jack of Diamonds group, Osmerkin put on a brave face when he was forced to abandon his avant garde experiments and moved on to the in-depth exploration of the colouristic dimension of art, while maintaining a state of lyrical withdrawal. His landscapes and still lifes show this very clearly: in them, the objects of nature are not mere pictorial representations of botanical species but rather nature’s “portrait”, endowed with a delicate lyrical substance.

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.