12 июня 2008
Storm signed, dated 1947 and titled in Cyrillic on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 127 by 102 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, USA.
Related Literature: Boris Anisfeld, Painting and Stage Designs, 1906-1926,New York, 2004, p. 21.
Letter of authentification from the artist's grandson Charles Chatfield-Taylor, San Francisco, April 18 2007.
This deeply personal painting depicts the artist’s daughter Morella Marochka), later Mrs Otis Chatfield-Taylor, whose image appears on numerous paintings by Anisfeld. Marochka is the girl with a big doll from the earlier period of Anisfeld`s oeuvre. She is the teenage girl of his paintings of 1910s – A Girl with a Doll at the Flowerbed (c. 1905, Perm State Art Gallery), Portrait of Morella (1914, Doyle New York's Auction of Modern and Contemporary May 24, 2005), Christmas (1914–1915).
Morella is asleep and the world outside the window becomes part of her dreams. The raging storm outside the window is a “painting inside a painting” typical of his oeuvre. It is highly possible the artist conceived the idea of the painting and painted an initial variant in 1919–1920. The oeuvre of the artist of this period was highly influenced by the artistic legacy of The World of Art movement. The world of childhood in The World of Art oeuvre is fragile and delicate, yet markedly uncomfortable. Besides, Morella wore long braids from 1919 (see Portrait of Morella, c. 1919, Shepherd Gallery, Fall 1984, Cat. No. 51). Thus, the storm outside the window comes to symbolise the Civil War in Russia, which the artist’s family fled from and found shelter in the New World.
Notes on symbols:
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