MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 8-9 June 2011

8 June 2011

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Mist. By the Lake,

160. PISEMSKY, ALEXEI (1859-1913)

Mist. By the Lake, signed.

Oil on canvas, 28 by 43.5 cm.
25,000-30,000 GBP

Provenance: Private collection, Czech Republic.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.

Alexei Pisemsky, a master of classical landscape painted from life, entered the history of Russian art as the bard of “the modest spectacle of grey days”. His lyrical, intimate work, Mist. By the Lake, is one of the best validations of this. The artist was a great connoisseur of the Russian forest, able to convey in subtle detail the varied characteristics of its vegetation. But, unlike Shishkin, Pisemsky was more attracted to melancholy, crepuscular glades surrounded by trees, the banks of small rivers, forest lakes and marshy terrain. He avoided depictions of bright sunlight: his work was without grandiosity or bombast, characterised rather by an inherent heartfelt and poetic sense of the nature of central Russia.

In Pisemsky’s paintings we find the early morning, encroaching evening, the rising moon, the twilight before sunset, the approach of autumn and the snowmelt floods of springtime. Painted from nature, with thick brushstrokes and, always, consummate skill, Pisemsky’s small-scale landscapes enjoyed considerable success at exhibitions in the capital and would immediately sell out after the preview destined for the rooms of members of the imperial family, the high society elite, university professors and the art intelligentsia. Exemplary works by Pisemsky are also present in the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum.

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.