25 November 2012
Ladybird, signed, titled in Cyrillic and dated 1990 on the stretcher, further titled in Cyrillic on the reverse.
Acrylic tempera on canvas, 90 by 65 cm.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the artist.
The oeuvre of Dmitry Zhilinsky, People’s Artist of the RSFSR and I.E. Repin RSFSR State prize laureate, needs no special introduction; he is one of the best-known and revered masters of the Soviet and post-Soviet era. The works of this wonderful painter grace the walls of the leading museums in Russia – the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, but it is extremely rare to encounter them in private collections.
Despite the fact that Zhilinsky’s career developed in tandem with the severe Socialist Realist style of his generation, his work cannot be considered within the context of specifics or of having fully social overtones. He unquestionably stands apart and the individuality of his figurative work and his technique means that no analogies or parallels can be drawn with his peers. His art is deeply human and imbued with a genuine consciousness of the spiritual essence of the best of Old Russian painting and the touchstones of the High Renaissance. The aesthetic principles of the Trecento and Quattrocento were so close to Zhilinsky’s that the philosophical core of every one of his works is associated with the mood of masterpieces by Filippo Lippi, Boltraffio and Botticelli. Thus, in his remarkably warm and touching Ladybird there would seem to be no direct analogies with Botticelli’s famous Primavera, but the delicate lyricism, the lingering musical rhythm of the paint and the overwhelming sense of peace link it with this eternal masterpiece. The enduring human values that Zhilinsky celebrates are fundamentally contemplative: a life-affirming love for every living thing, the warmth of hearth and home, the fragility and vulnerability of the soul of a child, and joy in discovering the world around us. This optimistic paean to beauty imparts to Dmitry Zhilinsky’s work a unique feeling of timelessness.
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.