2 December 2015 Russian Art Auctions

2 December 2015

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Still Life with Cakes and Fruit

* 58. LENTULOV, ARISTARKH (1882-1943)

Still Life with Cakes and Fruit

Oil on canvas, 78 by 110.5 cm.
200,000-300,000 GBP

Executed in the late 1930s.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the experts A. Lyubimova and L. Shakirova.
Authenticity certificate from the expert Yu. Rybakova.

Aristarkh Lentulov’s Still Life with Cakes and Fruit, executed in the 1930s, is from a late period in the artist’s career that was characterised by an obvious change in his manner of painting, prompted by his desire to join the officially supported realist movement. Left far behind are the artist’s radical experiments with colour and texture that brought him fame in the second decade of the century, a period that saw the blossoming of the legendary artistic group the Jack of Diamonds. A particular warmth and refinement marks out the work of his mature period. Lentulov achieves this by applying a certain restraint to his painting, and replacing a palette of contrasting colours with one based on toned down, muted hues. Nonetheless, his artistic manner – sweeping, seemingly spontaneous – remains intact.

The painting offered for sale is testament to the change in Lentulov’s view on still life, which for him evolved into a valuable subject in its own right, one not to be distorted in its artistic representation. In striving to be figurative, Lentulov reinstates classic painterly values, such as chiaroscuro, spatial planes, light and aerial perspective. The predominant shades are now violet, various greens, red-brown and orange, and the composition is marked by the crowding together of objects laid out in a pile, in a deliberate display of the abundance of plain fare. The texture of the painted surface in this poetically spiritual, placid and colouristically restrained work demonstrates the striking mastery of Lentulov’s technique. Even after he had made the transition to the everyday, nuts-and-bolts world of still-life painting, Lentulov’s work of the 1930s is still distinguished by a rich, resonant imagery that shows great affinity with the Jack of Diamonds aesthetic. This is exemplified brilliantly by the still life offered in this catalogue.

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.