3 June 2015
Oil on canvas, 58 by 36 cm.
Executed c. 1908.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist’s family by the renowned journalist Paolo Valentino, a correspondent for Corriere della Sera, in Moscow, 1995.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Marianna Lentulova, the artist’s daughter (inscription on the reverse).
Authenticity has also been confirmed by Fedor Lentulov, the artist’s great-grandson (inscriptions on the reverse and on the photograph of the work).
Authenticity has also been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova.
The work is accompanied by a letter from Marianna Lentulova, confirming authenticity.
The work is also accompanied by a letter from Paolo Valentino, confirming the provenance.
Aristarkh Lentulov, who ranks as one of the most important Russian avant-garde artists of the 20th century, had already established his credentials as a tireless experimenter in the 1900s when he became interested in the art of the World of Art group, the decorativism of the Blue Rose movement and of Maurice Denis, creating paintings of bright sunlit landscapes and the resplendent series of “bathing on the Sura”, to which the present work, Bath House, in all probability belongs.
These works, painted at the dacha settlement of Akhuna on the Sura river near Penza, betray an eye that was familiar with the work of the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, a trained hand and fully formed analytical powers, together with a subtle sense of colour and shape. The sparse pointelle of Bath House is executed in dim, muted, Symbolist tones that set a light green “Veronese” colouration against mottled pink with a yellow tinge. This combination of colours in a vivacious and fresh summer sketch is the epitome of Lentulov’s scenic preferences, which, although they were to develop further, remained as a constant feature in works from nearly all periods of his creative life.
Several works from the so-called “bathing on the Sura” series, painted in the summer of 1907, were presented by Lentulov at the Wreath-Stephanos exhibition in Moscow, where they drew highly positive reviews, and the artist continued his studies on the banks of the picturesque river in the following year. Most of the surviving works by Lentulov from this period are now a part of museum collections in Moscow, St Petersburg and Penza, so the appearance of Bath House, issued directly from the artist’s family, at a MacDougall’s auction is a rare and noteworthy event.
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.