1 December 2010
Woman Sewing. Dacha in Taitsy inscribed and dated 1926 on the reverse
Watercolour on paper, 33.5 by 22 cm
Exhibited: Nikolai Andreevich Tyrsa (1887-1942). Zhivopis', Grafika, Khudozhestvennoe Steklo, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, 1992.
Tyrsa Nikolai Andreevich. Zhivopis'/grafika, The Tatarstan State Art Museum, Kazan/Art Divage Gallery, Moscow, 2004
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Nikolai Andreevich Tyrsa (1887-1942). Zhivopis', Grafika, Khudozhestvennoe Steklo, St Petersburg, 1992, p. 59, cat. no. 195, listed.
Exhibition catalogue, Tyrsa Nikolai Andreevich (1887-1942). Zhivopis'/grafika, Moscow, 2004, cat. no. 54, illustrated.
The interior world of the artist, the sphere of his intimate concerns, has always been of interest to viewers, especially when the art is of high calibre, as is that of Nikolai Tyrsa. He painted the current watercolour at the peak of his creative powers. In the mid-1920s Tyrsa left his administrative job as head of the Petrograd VKhUTEMAS and was able to concentrate all his efforts into seeking his own graphic language. At this time, during summer holidays at his dacha in the little town of Taitsy, near Leningrad, he painted a considerable number of lyrical works, dazzling both in the perfection of their technique and in a particular depth and refinement in their crafting.
The watercolour Woman Sewing. Dacha in Taitsy is interesting for many reasons. The image, framed by a doorway (a signature compositional trait of this master), offers a view of the interior — a table, a vase of cornflowers (special favourites of Tyrsa), a hat hanging stiff on the wall, part of a bed with a metal frame and checked blanket, patches of sunlight from the window and rooms obscured in shadow — and also of the model, busy with her sewing. The woman at the table is the artist’s wife, Elena Alexandrovna Tyrsa (née Leifert) (1898–1980), his favourite model, seen in many of this artist’s works, both paintings and graphic art, works which are now held by Russia’s state museums and in major private collections around the world. Researchers of Tyrsa’s oeuvre ascribe particular significance to this watercolour, which is well-known from many publications and has hung in all major exhibitions of this artist’s work.
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