27 May 2012
Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, signed and dated 1907.
Oil on canvas, 53.5 by 71.5 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, UK.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the experts S. Rimskaya-Korsakova, E. Nesterova and A. Bogdanov.
This work by Nikolai Sapunov, who was to meet a tragically early death, would, with its exceptionally refined palette and taste, be the pride of any serious collection of Russian art. Early works by the members of the Blue Rose group are especially rare and cause something of a sensation when they appear at auction. The distinctive features of Sapunov’s style make it immediately recognisable. The study-like spontaneity of his works creates a slight nebulousness, barely perceptible moiré effect, into which the flowers and fruit sink and dematerialise into patches of colour in subtly nuanced shades. The whole sensual organisation of Sapunov’s floral composition is Symbolist in principle. The setting itself is nebulous: there is no table, no interior of a room – nothing but a quasi-mystical space, in which temporary boundaries are washed away like the petals of those delicate roses.
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.