27 May 2012
Old Novgorod. Barges, signed and dated 1913.
Oil on canvas, 107 by 142 cm.
Amidst the stellar cast of Russian Impressionists, the painting of Konstantin Gorbatov has a special allure. He developed his own recognisable style based on energetic, somewhat truncated brushwork and a bright, accessible palette; the artist concentrated on views of old provincial towns, most often Novgorod, a town close to his heart, where he spent much of his time working en plein air. This ebullient artist hardly ever painted overcast or rainy views. Gorbatov’s pictures are suffused with a golden light and the fluffy clouds that scud gaily across his azure skies are a yellow-rose colour, glowing in the early-evening sun. The artist’s style fully took shape by the beginning of the 1910s, when his eye-catching and memorable work attracted the attention of critics and earned the affection of the viewing public.
Gorbatov derived his predilection for bright festive colours and portraying light effects from his famous teachers, N. Dubovskoy and A. Kiselev. These Petersburg academicians were remarkable landscapists who forecast the young graduate’s future fame and productive career.
Old Novgorod. Barges, is a painting of unusual beauty, compositional accomplishment and palpable atmosphere, it is a rare piece worthy of even the most discriminating collection of Russian paintings.
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.