12 June 2008
Oil on canvas, 79 by 115 cm.
Provenance: Mr. Frizeau collection.
Private collection, France.
Exhibited: World of Art exhibition, St. Petersburg, January 1913.
Sunflowers, presented here for auction, belongs to the period in which Tarkhov’s creative gifts were coming into full bloom. Having bought his own house in Orsay, Tarkhov worked with great enthusiasm in the surrounding hills and gardens. He used familiar motifs, such as the sunflower, again and again as a way to study the ever-changing light and atmosphere around him. Time and again Tarkhov returned to the sunflower, and painted it in various stages of growth, within nature and within still life compositions. His passion for repetitive motifs, his strong decorative elements, and his striving to overcome the static reality of the flower through the energy of his brushwork and vibrant textures, brought him naturally to the art of the fauvists.
Sunflowers, which was especially chosen by the artist to be shown at the Monde de l’Art exhibitions held in St Petersburg and Moscow in 1911, also displays an obvious similarity to the forcefulness of colour of the fauvists. The flowers, with their luxuriant foliage take up the entire canvas, and appear to have absorbed the power and colour of the sun, so beloved by Tarkhov, compelling him to depart from the shimmering light of impressionism and tonal decorativeness to build direct, raw colour against a contrasting background, creating a work which is a distinct tour de force in terms of its use of colour.
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.