2 December 2015
Landscape with a Tree, signed and dated 1924.
Oil on canvas, 89 by 55 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova.
Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov.
Literature: V. Petrov, “Vasilii Vasilievich Rozhdestvensky 1884–1963”, Antikvarnoe obozrenie, No. 1 (14), 2005, p. 40, illustrated.
Landscape with a Tree belongs to the mature period in the oeuvre of Vasili Rozhdestvensky – a member of the Jack of Diamonds group and a close associate of such famous artists as Mikhail Larionov, Robert Falk and Ilya Mashkov. Thanks to his teachers, Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, Rozhdestvensky’s development as a painter was founded from the very outset on the Western artistic tradition, primarily influenced by Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. Rozhdestvensky was also captivated by nature, its hues, combinations of geometric forms, intense colours and spatial relationships, all of which can be seen in the work presented in the catalogue.
In Landscape with a Tree, the classic linear perspective in the foreground gradually recedes into a tonal perspective. As a result, the vertical and horizontal planes merge, and the resulting two-dimensional composition creates an illusion of an all-encompassing space, striving to emulate the way the human eye perceives space. In addition, the intense, short brushstrokes of pure colours lend the canvas an extraordinary vivacity, which was one of Rozhdestvensky’s main artistic goals. The nuanced, masterful development of tonality – in this case in green – is also characteristic of his work.
Landscape with a Tree represents a deeply felt lyrical union with nature. The work possibly depicts the environs of Yasnaya Polyana, the estate that belonged to Leo Tolstoy, which Rozhdestvensky often visited and wrote so much about in his diaries. Most probably, this is what lends the work its sense of intimacy and inner meaning, making it all the more special amongst the many landscapes that Rozhdestvensky painted.
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.