5 Jun 2013
On a Pig Farm, signed and dated 1932.
Oil on canvas, 85 by 98 cm.
Provenance: The Research Institute of Pig-Breeding, Minsk, Republic of Belarus, from 1932, inventory number “N 22” (label and inscription on the reverse).
Private collection, Europe.
Related Literature: For another version of the present lot, see O. Roitenberg, Neuzheli kto-to vspomnil, chto my byli… Iz istorii khudozhestvennoi zhizni. 1925–1935, Moscow, Galart, 2004, p. 209, illustrated; p. 528, listed.
On a Pig Farm by Petr Stroyev is a wonderful example of the art produced during the Soviet Union’s first five-year economic plan. During that period, the Sovnarkom sent artists to areas of heavy industry and collective farms with the aim of documenting the country’s rapid development, and Stroyev was one of the campaign’s activists.
Petr Stroyev was born in 1898 in Irkutsk, a graduate of the Leningrad Institute of Fine Arts, Sculpture and Architecture, he began exhibiting in 1929. During that time, three of his exhibited works were acquired by the State Russian Museum. In 1940, he was recommended as a member of the Union of Artists; however, he was to lose his life a year later at the front.
In the work offered here for auction, Stroyev, in a manner typical for these Sovnarkom commissioned works, combines an avant-garde aesthetic with a socially conscious subject matter. However, he goes beyond mere reproduction of scenes of Soviet working life, attempting to uncover the essence of his subject that he portrays with particular tenderness. The art historian Olga Roitenberg notes this interest in conveying emotion in her description of the version of this painting which is in the collection of the Vyatka Art Museum “…the subject which appealed to Petr Stroyev in 1932 was a ‘group portrait’ of a luxuriating pig with ten sucklings fastened upon her.” The warm palette of yellows, dark greens and pinks, the simplified forms of the objects and the soft, velvety brushstrokes all act to create the atmosphere of warmth and comfort which pervades the canvas.
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.