10 June 2021
Still Life with Wine Bottle and Tray, signed with initials and dated 1919.
Oil on canvas, 84 by 68 cm.
Provenance: The Russian Sale, Sotheby's London, 18 November 1999, lot 270.
Alexander Shevchenko was one of the most remarkable Russian painters of the first quarter of the 20th century. As a prominent representative of progressive Russian art, Shevchenko was closely involved in the activities of such forward-looking associations as the World of Art movement, Donkey’s Tail and Makovets.
The artist’s works are noted for their impeccably structured composition, stylistically refined vision of form and a magnificently luminous colour, renowned for its unique “Shevchenko” grey-silver shade. The artist made hardly any use of straightforward, bright colours in his palette; his works were distinguished by their tonal restraint and by a special beauty emanating from the interplay of warm and cold tones. Shevchenko was an avid admirer of Cézanne, rhythmically applying dots of colour to the canvas surface with great skill. But, although his art integrated the best features of Post-Impressionism, Shevchenko was no slavish imitator – retaining his own, uniquely recognisable style.
Still Life with Wine Bottle and Tray is a rare and undoubtedly valuable work from the finest period of Shevchenko’s career. It fuses the most significant plastic achievements of his time with the innovative personal approach that enabled Shevchenko to leave his mark on the history of painting.
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.