4 June 2014
View of Argentat, signed and indistinctly dated, further bearing the artist’s studio label on the stretcher.
Tempera on canvas, 65 by 81 cm.
Executed in 1929.
Provenance: Collection of the Kulakov family, Leningrad.
Collection of A. Chudnovsky, Leningrad.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova.
Exhibited: Possibly, Vystavka proizvedenii V.I. Shukhaeva, Moscow, Leningrad, 1936.
Literature: Possibly, exhibition catalogue, Vystavka proizvedenii V.I. Shukhaeva, Moscow, Izdatelstvo VAKh, 1936, p. 8, No. 30, listed as Argentat (pravyi bereg).
Possibly, I. Myamlin, Vasilii Ivanovich Shukhaev, Leningrad, Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1972, p. 163, listed as Arzhanta. Pravyi bereg under works from 1929.
Vasili Shukhaev’s painting View of Argentat belongs to a series of canvasses that the artist painted during his trip in the summer of 1929 round the old French towns along the banks of the Dordogne River. One of the most beautiful places in France – a land without roads, fashionable hotels or golden beaches – the Tulle district and the Auvergne attracted the artist with their untouched picturesque beauty. The wide upland expanse with its huge number of extinct volcanoes, its many short mountain ranges, narrow river valleys, green woodlands and pastoral villages still held the spirit of La vieille France with which Shukhaev’s landscapes are imbued.
In View of Argentat Shukhaev’s attention is drawn to the old paved embankment, overgrown with greenery, of the Dordogne River skirting the town where a whole row of houses has grown up with neatly whitewashed walls and tall roofs tiled in grey slate. The landscape was in all probability painted by the artist from Le Pont de la République, as the bridge that crosses the Dordogne downstream from the scene is called. The palette is silvery olive and the landscape immersed in the slumber of a summer’s afternoon, but despite its emptiness it breathes a deep tranquility.
Shukhaev painted his beloved provincial Argentat in at least two other works. One of which, also of the embankment, is in the collection of the I.V. Savitsky Museum of Arts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan in Nukus, and the second is in the V.V. Vereshchagin Art Museum in Nikolayev.
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.