26 November 2014
The Pink House on Bolshaya Sadovaya, Moscow, signed and dated 1931, also further signed, numbered "877" and dated on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 62.5 by 82 cm.
Exhibited: P. Konchalovsky, M. Gorky Club, Moscow, 1934.
Literature: Konchalovsky. Khudozhestvennoe nasledie, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1964, p. 125, listed as “zhi 726”.
In 1910, Petr Konchalovsky and his family moved into apartment 24 in a building owned by the tobacco magnate Ilya Pigit on Sadovaya Street in Moscow. The address, Sadovaya 10, was to win fame throughout Russia and beyond for its role in Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.
Right below was the studio of the theatre artist Georgy Yakulov. It was there that Konchalovsky, Yakulov and Aristarkh Lentulov established the Jack of Diamonds artists’ group, which made Sadovaya 10 into a centre of Moscow’s artistic life in the 1920s.
From this building, year after year, Konchalovsky set out to paint his beloved Moscow townscapes in which he sought to capture the uniqueness of the city’s monuments (Kolomenskoye. After Rain, 1930, St Basil’s, 1932) and to convey the unique charm of the streets and alleys in the immediate vicinity (Patriarch’s Ponds. Hockey, 1929, Grenade Alley. Snowball Fight, 1931).
From the late 1920s, when the Jack of Diamonds group began to draw official criticism, Konchalovsky immersed himself in the world of landscapes, eulogising Moscow’s quiet beauty and keeping his quest within the realms of form and unfettered colour (Spiridonovka, Pharmacy on Sadovaya Street, and Sadovaya Street. Winter Morning).
The Pink House on Bolshaya Sadovaya is the equal of these works. In this picture, the artist masterfully conveys the tactile quality and subtle nuances of colour of the old, disappearing Moscow, which was being changed beyond recognition by the total renovation of the Garden Ring. The Pink House on Bolshaya Sadovaya is thus not only a fine example of Konchalovsky’s tranquil chamber art of the early 1930s, but also a monument to an era, preserving the magic of places that no longer exist for us.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
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