5 June 2013
Portrait of the Artist's Brother, the Historian Dmitri Petrovich Konchalovsky, signed and dated 1934, also further signed, numbered "1121" and dated on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 163 by 133 cm.
Provenance: Estate of the artist.
Private collection, Europe.
Exhibited: 9th Exhibition of Works by P.P. Konchalovsky, Moscow, 1935.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, 9th Exhibition of Works by P.P. Konchalovsky, Moscow, Vsekokhudozhnik, 1935, p. 5, No. 11, listed; illustrated.
Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 134, listed as “zhi 908”.
Portrait of the Artist’s Brother, the Historian Dmitri Petrovich Konchalovsky here at auction is a fine example of Petr Konchalovsky’s mature period. It was painted in 1934, when the artist was living at his dacha in Bugry and actively working in the genre of portraiture. At this time Konchalovsky produced numerous portraits of members of his family and prominent cultural figures.
Working on portraiture, the artist concentrates on the psychological component rather than the material — he is primarily interested in expressing the inner condition of his subject, the person’s character. Similarly here, the painter portrays his younger brother Dmitri Konchalovsky — historian, philologist, and teacher of the history and jurisprudence of ancient Rome — robed and sitting solemnly on a throne, like a cardinal. However, he focuses particular attention on the face of his subject, on his profound and soulful gaze, and the grandeur of the image is emphasised by the simplicity of the red and black colour scheme. As the artist wrote in his diaries, he was seeking in his work at the time to achieve “a simplified synthesis of colour”, as a result of which his painting acquired a new subtlety of hue combined with a resonance of adjacent colour planes and internal contrasts. All of these qualities make Portrait of the Artist’s Brother, undoubtedly, one of Konchalovsky’s most successful works in this genre.
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.