25 - 28 November 2012 Russian Art Auctions

25 November 2012

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Peski. Landscape with a Boat and Female Figure

* 35. KUPRIN, ALEXANDER (1880–1960)

Peski. Landscape with a Boat and Female Figure, signed.

Oil on canvas, 90 by 135 cm.
120,000–180,000 GBP

Executed in 1958.

Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist’s family.
Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Silaev.

Exhibited: A.V. Kuprin, S.D. Lebedeva, N.P. Ulyanov, Museum of the USSR Academy of Arts, Leningrad, 1977 (label on the reverse).

Literature: K. Kravchenko, A.V. Kuprin, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1973, p. 193, illustrated; p. 238, listed.
Exhibition catalogue, A.V. Kuprin, S.D. Lebedeva, N.P. Ulyanov, Leningrad, Iskusstvo, 1977, p. 30, listed under works from 1958.

The name of Alexander Kuprin is associated with a particularly interesting time in Soviet Russian art. In the 1920s and 1930s extraordinary talents came to light which were able to advance the new Russian painting and assert its importance on an international scale. From 1910 Kuprin took part in every one of the Jack of Diamonds exhibitions, impressing those who viewed his work with the expressive power of his painting and opening up new horizons for Russian art. All of the artist’s work of that time is unusually picturesque, incisive in composition and rich and bright in palette. As with many other members of the Jack of Diamonds group, a change in Kuprin’s creative manner occurred at the very beginning of the 1930s, when persecution was stepped up against formalistic painting and an inevitable search for compromise radically transformed the figurative styles of practically every member of the most progressive creative group of the time – the Jack of Diamonds.

Alexander Kuprin’s late works are painted according to the Moscow school’s canons of classic landscape realism. The peaceful colours and calibrated compositions are far removed from the artist’s restless experimentation of the first quarter of the century. The shift in his manner of painting did not happen immediately, but rather year by year. The distinct planes of colour vanished, the expression disappeared, his brushstrokes became finer and the elements of landscape ever more reminiscent of classic examples of the Russian landscape tradition. At the same time the artist’s work acquired a distinctive gauzy, romantic air creating an atmosphere of lyricism. The present lot, Peski. Landscape with a Boat and Female Figure, in which there is a feeling of extraordinary spiritual peace and heartfelt joy in communing with nature, is a perfect example of this.

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.