8 June 2011
Village Fête, signed, c. 1910s-1920s.
Oil on canvas, 124 by 84 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, Europe.
Authenticty of the work has been confirmed by the expert D.Volyak.
Exhibited: Khudozhniki Russkoi Emigratsii v Tchernogorii, Museum and Gallery of Podgoritsa, Montenegro, December 2008.
Tchernogoriya s palitry russkikh khudozhnikov, 1909-2009, Moscow Central House of the Artists, 21 April--3 May 2009.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Khudozhniki Russkoi Emigratsii v Tchernogorii, Museum and Gallery of Podgoritsa, Montenegro, December 2008, plate 31, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Tchernogoriya s palitry russkikh khudozhnikov. 1909-2009, Moscow Central House of the Artists, 21 April--3 May 2009, p. 23, illustrated.
Village Fête is typical of Nikolai Kharitonov's work in the "village" genre. Painted during the 1910s or 1920s, it falls within the period when the artist's creative talent was at its peak and is a continuation of his series of village scenes set in the southern provinces.
Living in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes from 1919 to 1923, this masterly chronicler of everyday village life continued to paint distinctive and highly successful pictures of village feast days and celebrations in the Balkans. It is possible that Village Fête, the painting now offered at auction, belongs to this group. The artist eschews any delicate drawing of detail and often gives only the merest indication of his subjects' facial features. A cheerful, colourful palette, defined outlines and rather "faceted" shapes are combined with a deliberately cropped composition, characteristic of Kharitonov. All this allows us to include Village Fête among his best works in this genre.
Notes on symbols:
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