MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1 December 2011

1 December 2011

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

On the River Protva. Fisherman

84. KONCHALOVSKY, PETR (1876-1956)

On the River Protva. Fisherman, signed, also further signed, numbered "1628" and dated 1953 on the reverse.

Oil on canvas, 72.5 by 64 cm.
60,000-90,000 GBP

Provenance: A gift from the artist to his friend A.G. Rubbakh (1896-1976), composer and professor at the Moscow Conservatoire, in 1953.
Acquired from the family of the above.
Private collection, UK.

Literature: Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 137, listed as “zhi 1340”.

Philosophical universalisation was intrinsic to the work of the outstanding Moscow artist Petr Konchalovsky — more so than to any other. He was equally skilled at painting portraits, still lifes and landscapes of his native Central Russia. As a landscapist Konchalovsky should be considered epic rather than lyric. His landscapes are characterised by a celebratory, emotional universalisation and the heady and whole-hearted fusion of nature with the restless essence of man. However, in Konchalovsky’s interpretation there is no soulless, overwhelming pantheism suggesting — as, for example, with the classic Romantic artists — a complete and total domination of man by nature. Instead we have an optimistic confrontation between elemental force and human reason, anticipating some kind of dramatic denouement rather than a charmless and pusillanimous compromise. This proud and heroic subtext was characteristic of much of the best Russian work of the post-war period — a category that certainly includes Konchalovsky’s On the River Protva. Fisherman, which the artist painted in 1953 for his friend, the composer and professor at the Moscow Conservatoire, Avrelian Rubbakh.

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.