25 November 2012
Winter in St Petersburg .
Oil on canvas, 49 by 72.5 cm.
Executed 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 (label on the reverse).
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné 1888–1942, London, 1970, No. 14, listed with incorrect dimensions as Petrograd, l’Hiver.
Winter in St Petersburg is one of a small number of rare works, virtually unrepresented in museums, which belong to the Petersburg Suite of 1907–1909. It was painted by a young artist from the South of Russia named Vladimir Baranoff. At the time he was closely linked to the circle of Nikolai Kulbin and the Burliuk brothers.
In all probability, the overall effort to master Impressionist and Fauvist methods, on which the sights of many Russian artists were set at the time, the participation in two avant-garde shows in Moscow in the winter of 1907–1908 (MTKh and Venok-Stefanos), plus the shared dreams of an exhibition in Petersburg, not only defined Baranoff’s artistic quest at the end of the first decade of the new century, but also inspired his artistic treatment of views of the capital.
Confronted with the new manner of painting, Baranoff experimented, embarking on a cycle of canvasses to work through the techniques he found attractive. In Winter in Petersburg, and two other landscapes – St Petersburg under Snow and St Petersburg in Winter – he pursues a Fauvist line, blended with graphically meticulous, almost World of Art-style draughtsmanship in his delineation of houses, bridges and ships.
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