26 November 2014
Festive Day, signed.
Oil on canvas, 69 by 92 cm.
Provenance: With the Reynolds Galleries, New York.
Acquired from the above by the renowned Swedish musician Per Oscar Åkesson in 1946.
Thence by descent to the previous owner.
Important Sale Part II, Russian Art, Uppsala Auktionskammare Sweden, 7 December 2006, lot 1250.
Private collection, UK.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Festive Day by Fedot Sychkov is a wonderful portrayal of Russian folk life. The prolific painter is renowned for his genre scenes, which can be found in museums and collections worldwide. Born into a modest family in the village of Kochelaevo, in eastern Russia, the artist was fortunately taken under the wing of General Ivan Arapov, who lived in a neighbouring village. It was thanks to him that Sychkov entered the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St Petersburg. His obvious talent and perseverance enabled him to complete the course in three years instead of six, after which he entered the eminent Imperial Academy of Arts.
It is precisely his proximity to the rural life of his homeland, combined with his fine art education that makes him an accomplished genre painter. Indeed, his entire life and oeuvre are closely tied with his native Kochelaevo. After having completed his studies, Sychkov returned to his birthplace, where he dedicated his entire work to the depiction of his fellow villagers in colourful portraits and celebrations, such as weddings and folk festivals. This is the case with the Festive Day. The bright palette of reds and orange create a warm and joyful atmosphere that make the scene almost palpable to the viewer with its smiling and singing figures. The playing children and resting villagers are celebrating their day off with vivacity and joie de vivre. Unlike works previously offered at auctions, the present lot depicts an entire scene and not merely portraits of individual figures, which therefore makes the work more unique and hence more valuable.
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.