27 May 2012
St Petersburg in Winter .
Oil on canvas, 73 by 49 cm.
Painted c. 1907–1909.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist’s family.
Private collection, France.
Exhibited: Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné 1888–1942, Rutland Gallery, London, 1970, No. 14.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné 1888–1942, London, 1970, No. 14, listed as Petrograd, l’Hiver.
A work of outstanding quality, the lyrical landscape St Petersburg in Winter is a rare early painting by the talented and multi-faceted artist Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné. From his youth this member of the Russian avant-garde, inventor and talented painter, was celebrated for his experimentation with the most varied artistic styles, while at the same time retaining his individuality. Baranoff-Rossiné painted Cubist landscapes, Realist portraits and non-objective, brightly-coloured symphonies, which display his accurate grasping of nascent styles long before his contemporaries.
The present painting dates from around 1907–1909, when the artist was an active participant in the first avant-garde exhibitions in Moscow and St Petersburg. Notable among these were the Stefanos and Wreath exhibitions of 1907–1910, in which works of David Burliuk, Natalia Goncharova, Alexandra Exter and others were also shown. Georges Annenkov wrote of Baranoff-Rossiné: “Throughout his whole career he was always at the forefront of a variety of avant-garde movements, be it Cubism or Surrealism, Futurism, Expressionism etc., all the way to abstraction. He was a companion and comrade-in-arms in some very tough battles, which were convulsing the art world”.
St Petersburg in Winter is of particular interest to collectors, being painted at an extremely significant moment in the history of Russian art, when the avant-garde was for the first time making its presence felt, both at a great many exhibitions and via publications as well as by attracting an ever-increasing number of followers.
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