25 - 28 November 2012 Russian Art Auctions

25 November 2012

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


§ 43. KOTLAREVSKY, PAUL (1885–1950)

Harvest .

Oil on canvas, 65 by 102 cm.
180,000–250,000 GBP

Provenance: Anonymous sale; Arcade Modern and Contemporary Paintings, Sotheby’s New York, 30 June 1993, lot 33.
The Schreiber collection, New York.
Anonymous sale; Russian Art, Sotheby’s London, 27 November 2007, lot 221.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Private collection, UK.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the artist’s family.

Paul Kotlarevsky experimented with many styles but he was particularly drawn to Cubism, which is apparent in the present work with its geometrical patches of colour. Juxtaposing manual labour and industrialized agriculture, Harvest is also indebted to both Russian Primitivism and Futurism, calling to mind works by Natalia Goncharova and Alexandra Exter.

Although a lawyer by profession, Kotlarevsky’s real passion in life was painting. As a reward for his graduation from law school, his parents sent him abroad to discover the artistic treasures of Europe. Together with his wife and his son he visited Rome and Vienna, arriving in Paris in 1913. At the outbreak of the First World War the following year, instead of returning to Russia, Kotlarevsky decided to fight the Germans alongside French troops.

Kotlarevsky was still fighting in Europe when the Russian Revolution changed the face of his homeland forever and, having lost everything, he decided to remain in France. Since his qualifications as a lawyer were not recognised there, he decided to pursue his interest in painting and enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts. He befriended many artists, particularly those from Paris’s Russian community.

Harvest previously belonged to the Schreiber family, whose collection of Russian modern art was the finest ever amassed in the United States. Over a period of several decades, the Schreibers acquired masterpieces by some of the most significant Russian artists, such as Vladimir Tatlin, Wassily Kandinsky and Mikhail Larionov.

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.