4 June 2014
La Dame voilée, signed and dated 1954.
Oil on canvas, 74 by 51 cm.
Provenance: Pecci-Blunt collection, Rome (inscription on the reverse).
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert A. Kuznetsov.
Exhibited: Pavel Tchelitchew, Kournikova Gallery, Moscow, 10 April–17 July 2011.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Pavel Tchelitchew, St Petersburg, Petronius, 2011, p. 179, illustrated; p. 221, listed.
A. Kuznetsov, Pavel Tchelitchew: Metamorphoses, Stuttgart, ARNOLDSCHE Art Publishers, 2012, p. 272, No. 247, illustrated; p. 302, listed.
World-renowned artist, genius of stage design, distinguished draughtsman and one of the most interesting painters of the 20th century – Pavel Tchelitchew is represented here by a unique work, capable of intriguing the most exacting aesthete.
At the time of this work’s creation, Tchelitchew was living in Italy. He settled initially in Grottaferrata not far from Rome and then in Frascati. His Italian works are extremely rare: today only about thirty drawings and pastels are known, and no more than fifteen oil paintings. Essentially, his best-known oils are of this last period and are dated 1953 to 1957. The reason for the very modest number of completed paintings from this time is primarily a deterioration in the artist’s health and, of course, the prodigious effort he put into producing his “neon” cycle. Tchelitchew did not employ the technique of aerography, instead he worked on the most complex curves with a fine oil brush. In the radiating designs of La Dame voilée the artist returns as it were to the mannequins roped together in his famous scene for Ode, finding in the light of an enchanting luminescence the “universe” he desired.
The “neon” period in the artist’s creative work is his most cryptic and dazzling; the symbolic fulfilment and essence of a philosophical quest. Tchelitchew presents the possible phases (in his own imagination) of the unseen workings of the Creator, His sacred dispensation for the universe.
Notes on symbols:
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