4 июня 2014
A Tree (Cassis), signed, inscribed "Cassis" and dated 1928.
Tempera on canvas, 61 by 50 cm.
Provenance: Collection of S.K. Odishariya, Tbilisi.
Private collection, Europe.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert E. Yakovleva.
Authenticity has been also confirmed by the expert Yu. Rybakova.
Exhibited: Exposition du peintre russe Schoukhaeff, Galeries d’Art Kodak, Brussels, 26 February–8 March 1929, No. 17 (label on the stretcher).
Paintings and Drawings by Basil Schoukhaeff, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 1–17 August 1929, No. 12 (stamp on the reverse).
Possibly, Vasilii Ivanovich Shukhaev. K 90-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya,The State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow, 1977.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Exposition du peintre russe Schoukhaeff, Brussels, Galeries d’Art Kodak, 1929, No. 17, listed as Un arbre.
Exhibition catalogue, Paintings and Drawings by Basil Schoukhaeff, Sydney, Macquarie Galleries, 1929, No. 12, listed as The Tree.
Possibly, exhibition catalogue, Vasilii Ivanovich Shukhaev. K 90-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977, listed under works from the 1920s as Kassis.
The painting A Tree is a view of the cliffs and coves at Cassis on the Côte d’Azur in France. The location is identified by recognizable landmarks – Cap Canaille and the remarkable combination of white limestone cliffs, turquoise water and green pines – and also by the artist’s Latin inscription in the lower right corner of the painting, which reads “B. Schoukhaeff. Cassis. 1928”.
The Russian émigré artist Vasily Shukhaev (1887–1973) travelled from Paris to the plein air – either the Mediterranean or elsewhere in France – every summer from 1921. He was in Cassis in 1928, where he painted more than ten landscapes, all differing in their subject, composition and graphic structure. What they have in common is their technique, the inscription, and the use of a genre element in the landscape. The genre element in our picture is the couple sitting under a tree.
In February and March of 1929 the artist presented all of his Cassis landscapes at a personal exhibition in the Kodak gallery in Brussels. Analysis of the numbered titles of paintings in the exhibition catalogue and their match with the Cassis subjects tells us the correct name of our landscape: as confirmed by No. 17 on the label, which has been preserved on the back of the picture, this is Un Arbre. Konstantin Somov, who was among the visitors of Shukhaev’s exhibition in Paris in November 1929, commented: “The exhibition by Shukhaev is very good, he has made great advances in terms of simplicity and naturalism”. Shukhaev evidently brought the painting with him when he returned to Russia in 1935 and it was later acquired by the Odishariya family, Tbilisi friends of the artist. In 1977 the painting was exhibited at Shukhaev’s one-man exhibition in Moscow.
Elena Yakovleva, Doctor of Art History
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