26 November 2014 Russian Art Auctions

26 November 2014

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Landscape with a Tree

* 28. ROZHDESTVENSKY, VASILI (1884-1963)

Landscape with a Tree, signed and dated 1924.

Oil on canvas, 89 by 55 cm.
150,000-250,000 GBP

Provenance: Private collection, Europe.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova.
Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov.

Literature: V. Petrov, “Vasilii Vasil’evich Rozhdestvensky 1884–1963”, Antikvarnoe obozrenie, No. 1 (14), 2005, p. 40, illustrated.

Landscape with a Tree belongs to the mature period of the oeuvre of Vasili Rozhdestvensky – a member of the Jack of Diamonds group of artists and close associate of such well-known masters as Mikhail Larionov, Robert Falk and Ilya Mashkov. Thanks to his teachers Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, the development of Rozhdestvensky’s creative work was founded from the very outset on Western painting, including Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. Rozhdestvensky was also captivated by nature, its hues, combinations of geometric forms and intense colours, and spatial relationships, all of which can be seen in the work here at auction.

In Landscape with a Tree, the classic linear perspective in the foreground recedes smoothly into a perspective of sheer tonality. As a result, a vertical and horizontal two-dimensional quality emerges, creating a feeling of the encompassed space. In addition, the intense, short brushstrokes of pure colour lend the canvas an unusual vital energy, which was one of Rozhdestvensky’s greatest aims to achieve. The deep development of tonality, masterfully rendered – in this case in green – is also characteristic of his work.

Landscape with a Tree is a deeply felt lyrical union with nature. The canvas, possibly, depicts the environs of Yasnaya Polyana, the estate that belonged to Leo Tolstoy, which Rozhdestvensky often visited and wrote so much about in his diaries. Most probably this is what lends the work its sense of personal intimacy and inner meaning, making it all the more special amongst the many landscapes that he painted.

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.