26 November 2014
View of the Moscow Kremlin and the Church of Christ the Saviour, signed.
Oil on canvas, 105.5 by 162.5 cm.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Exhibited: Société des Artistes Français, Salon de 1901, Grand Palais, Paris, 1901 (exhibition stamp and gallery number on the stretcher).
Literature: Catalogue Illustré du Salon de 1901, Paris, Librairie d’Art Ludovic Baschet, 1901, p. 26, No. 256, listed.
View of the Moscow Kremlin and the Church of Christ the Saviour was painted by one of the select few French landscape painters to have devoted their mature creative energies to depicting the Russian capital.
Parisian by birth, Paul Louis Bouchard was a pupil of Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger and began his career with history painting and depictions of human figures, most often inspired by the European Middle Ages. Despite this early interest, the works that were to become Bouchard’s most famous had Oriental and Russian themes. Among his masterpieces are such pictures as View of Moscow, at the Entrance to the Kremlin; Winter Morning on Malaya Dmitrovka, by the Gates of the Strastnoy Monastery and Red Square in Winter.
View of the Moscow Kremlin and the Church of Christ the Saviour is a classic Bouchard work. In its distinctive composition the picture incorporates all the images that come into a person’s mind at the mention of Moscow: the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour with its golden onion domes, the red crenellated walls and towers of the Kremlin, the embankment of the Moscow River edged in cast-iron railings and the horse with bells, harnessed to a sleigh. Despite the fact that Bouchard was seeing the city with foreign eyes as a romantic and exotic place, the view he had of Moscow and her atmosphere, remains near and dear.
It was particularly his ability to capture the city’s unique mood, to grasp the special qualities intrinsic to its image that allowed Bouchard to rise to the level of gifted Russian artists such as Aleksey Savrasov, Nikolay Dubovskoy and Vladimir Makovsky. His pictures were regularly accepted for exhibitions at the Salon in Paris, where the present lot was shown in 1901.
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.