5 June 2013 Russian Art Auctions

5 June 2013

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Flowers, a Set Design

* 412. PETROV-VODKIN, KUZMA (1878-1939)

Flowers, a Set Design, signed with a monogram, also further signed, inscribed in Cyrillic "Dekoratsiya" and dated 1926 on the reverse.

Pencil and watercolour, heightened with white, on paper, 28.5 by 30 cm.
15,000–20,000 GBP

Provenance: Important private collection, Europe.

Authenticity certificate from the expert E. Zhukova.

In the mid-1920s Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin occasionally worked in theatres. It is known for certain that at that time the artist did the designs for four productions in all, two of which were performed. No mention has been found in the artist’s published diaries, or in the monographs and reference material on his creative work, of the production which Petrov-Vodkin was busy designing in 1926. Despite this fact, however, it has been established from the artist’s signature on the reverse of the present work that he signed and dated this sketch at precisely that time. “One’s attention is drawn to the similarity of the geometric decorative elements of the sketch and the curtain for Beaumarchais’s comedy The Marriage of Figaro (State Academic Drama Theatre, Leningrad, 1935)... In the Flowers there is a more definite expression of Petrov-Vodkin’s favourite three-colour combination (dark blue, yellow and red). He achieved the expressive, pulsating effect of the coloured surface of the curtain, painted with distinct brushstrokes, through his great practical experience in the 1920s of pencil drawing and wielding pen and brush, when the artist learned to fill form with light and air” – notes the art critic E.M. Zhukova in an essay she wrote.

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.