27 May 2012
A Complete Set of Illustrations for Nikolai Gogol’s “Marriage”, consisting of 19 finished illustrations, cover page and 24 preparatory sketches, all finished illustrations signed, mostly with initials.
Pencil, charcoal and watercolour on paper, each finished illustration measuring approximately 22 by 17 cm (paper size).
The illustrations are presented in the original portfolio, designed by the artist himself.
Georges Pogedaieff is one of the most remarkable Russian émigré artists. His work provided a connecting link between Russian and European culture and vastly enriched the treasure-house of 20th-century art.
Incredibly gifted from childhood, the young artist started taking painting lessons at the age of thirteen with Professor Ya. Tsionglinsky, in 1915 he entered Professor Kasatkin’s studio at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and completed his training in Russia at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts under Professors D. Kardovsky and G. Zaleman. From 1918, Pogedaieff could be said to have come into his own as a theatrical scenery designer, and his sets for productions in St Petersburg attracted the attention of leading theatre critics. In 1920, after immigrating to Romania, he worked at the National Theatre in Bucharest. The artist went on to produce magnificent scenery for Anna Pavlova’s troupe when they performed in Prague. In the years 1921–1924 he lived in Vienna and Berlin, where he designed productions for Yasha Yuzhny’s legendary cabaret bar Der Blaue Vogel. Having settled in Paris in 1925, he branched out from set design and painting by turning to illustrating classics of Russian literature, including the works of N. Gogol, M. Lermontov, A. Chekhov and F. Dostoyevsky.
Pogedaieff ’s skill as an illustrator is unquestionable. The images he came up with for famous heroes of literature are notable for the accuracy and sharpness of their characterisation. They instantly command the attention, making the reader want to open the book immediately at a page familiar since childhood. His manner of illustration is original. He experiments with composition and intentionally enlarges the foreground of his subjects to introduce a theatrically expressive effect. The artist works using practically no colour: with the seemingly simple tools of just paper and a charcoal pencil, he achieves striking results. His pictures come alive on the page and convey the language of the great Russian classics. The present illustrations for Nikolai Gogol’s Marriage are a splendid complete set, which would grace even the most recherché collection of drawings.
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.