MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 27-30 May 2012

27 May 2012

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Still Life with Flowers

124. LEBEDEV, VLADIMIR (1891-1967)

Still Life with Flowers, signed with initials.

Oil on canvas, 69 by 48.5 cm.
120,000–180,000 GBP

Painted in 1931.

Provenance: Collection of the artist’s family.
Anonymous sale; Russian 20th Century and Avant-garde Art, Phillips London, 27 November 1989, Lot 34.
Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner.
Private collection, UK.

Vladimir Lebedev is rightly regarded as one of the most eye-catching and stylish Russian artists of the 1930s. The very appearance of his sumptuous nudes and scintillating still lifes was a statement of resistance against the harsh stagnation of the Soviet system, working in a showy, picturesque manner which was inspired by early Renoir. The mood of Lebedev’s paintings, drenched in sunshine, carries a powerful charge; they are light and optimistic, delighting the eye with their rich colour and endless interplay of undertones. The way the artist’s brushwork, pulsating with motion, conveys the backlighting of objects and the shimmering juxtaposition of flat surfaces is unsurpassed, preserving in the process the authentic outline of the volumes portrayed. The simple form of the glass vase is practically weightless, and the emerald of the stagnant water in which the tired wild flowers stand is the central note of the palette used for this studio work, in which everything maintains the blissful atmosphere of a warm July evening.

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.