Important Russian Art

1 December 2021

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Zhenya. Portrait of the Artist’s Son

◎§ 11. SEREBRIAKOVA, ZINAIDA (1884–1967)

Zhenya. Portrait of the Artist’s Son

Oil on canvas, 68 by 57 cm.
600,000–900,000 GBP

Executed in 1917.

Provenance: Collection of Mikhail Romm (1891–1967), a footballer, journalist, playwright.
Private collection, Russia.

The present work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonne being prepared by P. Pavlinov of the Zinaida Serebriakova Foundation.

Exhibited: Z. E. Serebriakova, Vyborgskii Dom kultury, Leningrad, December 1928–January 1929.
Z. E. Serebriakova, State Russian Museum, Leningrad, 1966 (label on the stretcher).
K 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia Z. E. Serebriakovoi, Central House of Artists, Moscow, 1987.

Literature: S. Ernst, Z. E. Serebriakova, Petrograd, Akvilon, 1922, p. 26–27, illustrated; p. 32, listed.
Exhibition catalogue, Z. E. Serebriakova, Leningrad, Komitet populiarizatsii khudozhestvennykh izdanii, 1929, p. 6, No. 10, listed.
N. Radlov, Z. E. Serebriakova, K vystavke Leningradskogo oblastnogo soveta professionalnykh soiuzov, Leningrad, 1929, p. 9, illustrated.
V. Kniazeva, Z. E. Serebriakova, Moscow, Izobrazitel’noye iskusstvo, 1979, p. 227, listed.
Exhibition catalogue, K 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia Z. E. Serebriakovoi, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1986, p. 142, illustrated; p. 144, listed.
T. Savitskaya, Zinaida Serebriakova, Izbrannye proizvedeniia, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1988, No. 59, illustrated and listed.

Zinaida Serebriakova would often produce portraits of her children, mainly using the techniques of pencil drawing and painting with tempera on paper. The first group portrait of the children to be executed in oil on canvas was the picture At Dinner (1914, Tretyakov Gallery). The eldest son, Evgeny (1906–1991), named after the artist’s father, the sculptor Evgeny Aleksandrovich Lanceray, who died prematurely (1848–1886), was the first of the children to have a personal oil portrait, painted in 1917.

In May 1917, Sergei Ernst, an art historian, visited the Lancerays’ and Serebriakovs’ estate, Neskuchnoe, in Kursk Province, where he wrote the first monograph about the artist, mentioning portrait of Zhenia in the list of works. The monograph was only published in Petrograd five years later – by the Aquilon publishing house in 1922.

The portraits Shura, Zhenya and Tata and Katya and Tata were painted in the same year, 1917. In December, the events occurring because of the revolution forced Zinaida Serebriakova, her husband and children to leave the estate and live first in Zmiev and then, until 1920, in Kharkov, where the paintings On the Terrace in Kharkov, House of Cards and Boys in Sailor’s Vests were produced in 1919.

In 1924, Zinaida Serebriakova left Leningrad for Paris, followed by her children Alexander and Ekaterina. Evgeny and Tatiana stayed with their grandmother, Ekaterina Nikolaevna Lanceray (née Benois). Evgeny became an architect and artist. From 1931 to 1936, he worked in the Soviet Far East (in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk). In 1941–1945, he and his wife lived in the Kirghiz capital, Frunze (now Bishkek), to which they had been evacuated. Later he helped to restore the Peterhof palace and garden complex. He was only able to see his mother again in December 1966, when he visited her in Paris, eight months before her death.

We are grateful to Pavel Pavlinov for his assistance in cataloguing this painting and providing the catalogue note.

The present lot as illustrated in the 1922 publication.
The present lot as illustrated in the 1929 publication.
The present lot as illustrated in the 1986 exhibition catalogue.

Zhenya. Portrait of the Artist’s Son
Zhenya. Portrait of the Artist’s Son
Zhenya. Portrait of the Artist’s Son

Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
◎ Indicates the lot is located in Russia. Please note that permit for export from Russia has not been obtained. Successful bidders would collect their lots in Moscow after payment.
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.