8 June 2011
Illustration for the Fairy Tale "Maria Morevna", signed with initials and dated 1913/1918.
Black ink, watercolour and gouache on paper, 42 by 28.5 cm.
One of the most brilliant and individual of Russian artists, Ivan Bilibine is represented here by a splendid, fully-fledged work of art - an illustration for the Russian fairy tale Maria Morevna. Early in his career, Bilibine developed his individual graphic style, based on painstakingly outlined forms with detailed patterning, painted in bright watercolours. The main themes of his work were Russian folk-tales, legends and heroic sagas. Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibine's popularity spawned a mass of imitators and disciples, among whom were Boris Zvorykin and Mikhail Matorin, who embodied the diversity of the "Bilibine-school" style.
Bilibine first turned to Maria Morevna in 1901, producing several illustrations, a title page and an eye-catching frontispiece. He dated his new interpretation of the tale, presented in this catalogue, 1913-1918 (which was the period when he returned to the Russian folk-tale cycle). Bilibine's style had changed considerably. With a more elaborately-worked outline, his style was now more clean-cut and at the same time more decorative, his palette more delicate and his colour more limpid. His configuring of space had become freer and less constrained.
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.