MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1 December 2011

1 December 2011

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


46. SYCHKOV, FEDOT (1870-1958)

Friends, signed and dated 1935.

Oil on canvas,82.5 by 62 cm.
80,000-120,000 GBP

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

The theme of “the friendship of little girls’ hearts”, as the artist described it, was one of the greatest achievements in Sychkov’s oeuvre. He created a whole series of images of folk children which are captivating in their directness of feeling and spiritual beauty. Sychkov’s images of children had already brought him huge popularity by the early 1900s. In contrast with many of his contemporaries who were guilty from time to time of open fabrication in their paintings of folk life, Sychkov succeeded in preserving a balance between beauty and reality, avoiding corniness and deception.

The two rosy-cheeked girls form the focus of the present painting, their two heads tilted towards each other. They radiate warmth and colour in their brightly coloured clothes against the white of the wintry background. These are not salon beauties, but sturdy, hearty country girls fondly rendered in fluid, spontaneous brushstrokes. The masterful execution of the two figures is the result of endless sketches in which the artist managed to capture the essence of their vitality. Friends represents in a sense the creative credo of the master, who believed that “in life there must be as much joy as possible”.

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.