27 November 2013
Bathers, signed and dated 1935.
Oil on canvas, 86 by 100 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, UK.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert G. Tchurak. Authenticity has also been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Vitaly Tikhov, one of Vladimir Makovsky’s most talented students, made his entrance into art history with his pictures of nudes and bathers, of which the present lot, Bathers, is a magnificent example.
The work is an exquisite plein-air study of his models, in which the artist strives to emphasise the pale beauty of their delicate skin, effectively highlighting it with colour tones from the sunlight reflected in the water. An impressionistic freshness and decorativeness are the chief merits of Tikhov’s style.
It is in works such as Tikhov’s Bathers that the Classical genre of women bathing, which had been given a new lease of life by Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, developed into the homegrown, established artistic tradition of Russian village bathing scenes. The apparent simplicity of this subject, successor to the Academic Roman baths and harem pools of Gérôme and Ingres, allowed artists to concentrate purely on technique.
Deliberately executed in a bright, resonant colour palette, Tikhov’s works were extremely popular with patrons and were well suited to grand early 20th century Russian interiors. Today masterly examples of Tikhov’s bathing women are represented in the State Russian Museum and private collections worldwide.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
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