MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1 December 2011

1 December 2011

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Portrait of the Artist's Son, Valerik

213. FALK, ROBERT (1886-1958)

Portrait of the Artist's Son, Valerik

Oil on canvas, 64 by 54 cm.
50,000-70,000 GBP

Painted in the artist’s studio in Moscow in 1941.

Provenance: Collection of K.R. Baranovskaya-Falk, Moscow, until 1997.
Private collection, Germany.

Exhibited: Moskovskie khudozhniki. 1920-1930s, Central House of Artists, Moscow, 1991.

Literature: Moskovskie khudozhniki. 1920-1930s, Moscow, 1991, p. 114, incorrectly dated 1939.
D. Sarabianov, Yu. Didenko, Zhivopis’ Roberta Fal’ka, Polnyi katalog proizvedenii, Moscow, Elizium, 2006, p. 673, No. 987, illustrated.

The portrait of Valery Falk, the artist’s son, occupies a special place in the remarkable oeuvre of Robert Falk. Painted in 1941, this work was to be not only one of Falk’s most successful of that period but also his last portrayal of his son, before the latter’s untimely death two years later at the Battle of Stalingrad. Valery (1916-1943) was an artist like his father. Robert Falk talked of his son’s divine draughtsmanship and uncommon talent. Others in their circle also noted the familial gift. In the 1930s Valery and his father lived in France, where their works were often exhibited together.

The works that Falk produced of his close friends and family were always of special significance for him and this closeness is clearly revealed here. The young man’s grown-up appearance notwithstanding, the artist is here developing a previous image of Valery — lost in concentration and sad, frail and tired — an image well known from many portraits painted during the years when they were in France together and after their return to the USSR.

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.