MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1 December 2011

1 Dec 2011

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


At Dawn

36. DUBOVSKOY, NIKOLAI (1859-1918)

At Dawn, signed and dated 1910, also further signed, titled in Cyrillic and numbered "10/103" on the reverse.

Oil on canvas, 107 by 134 cm.
200,000-300,000 GBP


Provenance: Private collection, UK.

Authenticity has been confirmed by the expert G. Churak.
Authenticity has also been confirmed by the experts I. Shuvalova and S. Krivondenchenkov.

Exhibited: The 39th Exhibition of the Society for Itinerant Art Exhibitions, Moscow, 1911, No. 39.

Literature: Exhibition catalogue, The 39th Exhibition of the Society for Itinerant Art Exhibitions, Moscow, 1911, p. 3, No. 39, listed.

The celebrated landscape artist Nikolai Dubovskoy was born in Novocherkassk into a Cossack officer-class family from Don Voisko Oblast. As a boy, Dubovskoy studied at the military school in Kiev, but his passion for art was so strong that he rose two hours early every day in order to draw. His headmaster advised the boy’s parents to send him to study painting. The 17 year-old Dubovskoy went to St Petersburg and to the Academy of Arts where, from 1877 to 1881, he studied under the professor of landscape painting, Baron Mikhail Konstantinovich Klodt. A landscape painter by calling and an adherent to the Itinerant tradition by conviction, Dubovskoy belonged to the younger Itinerant generation. Many anecdotes were told of his dedication to painting from life. It was even said that one day he was so engrossed in his sketching that he forgot his own wedding and when he finally appeared at the church everyone had almost given up waiting.

The first time the young artist exhibited with the Itinerants was in 1884, and he was highly praised by both art critics and collectors. Furthermore, after this first exhibition Pavel Tretyakov acquired Dubovskoy’s painting Winter for his gallery. Many landscapes and seascapes were to follow, bringing the artist wide fame and promoting him to the top rank of Russian landscape artists concerned with conveying atmosphere.

In 1900 Dubovskoy took part in the World Fair where he won a silver medal and exhibited at the Munich Secession, and in 1913 he received a gold medal for his picture After the Storm. The press was filled with praise for his pictures and the recollections of friends. One such, from Professor Vladimir Wagner read: “The picture was amazing, not for the artist’s technique (although this was impeccable) nor for his artistry (which was, however, obvious to all) but for the emotion, for the symphony we sensed within him, conveyed not in sounds but in the colours of his palette. The viewer was riveted to the picture, not by the picture itself but by what was in his heart.” The works of Nikolai Dubovskoy are on display in over 70 museums in both Russia and abroad.


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.