Thursday, 24 May 2012

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

SALE: Petrov-Vodkin to Headline MacDougall’s Russian Art Auctions 27 & 30 May 2012

On the evening of 27 May 2012 in London, MacDougall’s will offer an exceptional painting by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. Still Life. Apples and Eggs, estimated at £2,000,000-3,000,000, is one of the most typical and recognisable of Petrov-Vodkin’s works of the early 1920s. 

Oil paintings by Petrov-Vodkin exceedingly rarely appear on the market and few works of such significance as Still Life. Apples and Eggs remain in private hands. The work was previously in the collection of Grigory Blokh, before it was acquired by Abram Chudnovsky, another famous collector from Leningrad. Chudnovksy, a well-known physicist, started collecting art immediately after Stalin’s death in 1953, and by the 1960s had amassed one of the most important collections of early 20th century Russian avant-garde paintings, including works by artists such as Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich and Pavel Kuznetsov. Petrov-Vodkin’s Still Life. Apples and Eggs was among the highlights of the collection. Widely exhibited after Chudnovsky’s death in 1985, the work is now offered at auction for the first time.

Petrov-Vodkin painted Still Life. Apples and Eggs in Samarkand during the summer of 1921, when he took part in an official expedition to establish the condition of architectural and historical sites in Turkestan. His four months in Samarkand were particularly fruitful and he returned with an important body of work including landscapes, portraits and still lifes. He was later to publish a book on his experiences in Central Asia, illustrated with his own drawings. 

Petrov-Vodkin’s still lifes are not only among the best works in the artist’s oeuvre, but are also among the most important Russian paintings of the period following the Revolution of 1917. In these works, the artist painstakingly analysed every facet of the objects he painted, often depicting them from an elevated viewpoint. This “spherical perspective”, based on a unique philosophical system developed by the artist, bestows Petrov-Vodkin’s seemingly simple still lifes with monumental significance. Comprising modest objects which reflect the austerity of the period, Petrov-Vodkin’s still lifes are full of tension, but simultaneously extremely delicate and rich in colour.

The appearance on the market of Still Life. Apples and Eggs presents a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a museum-quality work by Petrov-Vodkin. The painting will be offered alongside other masterpieces of 19th and 20th century Russian art at the Important Russian Art sale on Sunday 27 May. On 30 May, MacDougall’s will present Russian paintings, icons and works of art, as well as a collection of works by the theatre designer Dimitri Bouchène. The total pre-sale estimate for all sales exceeds £25m. 

Important Russian Art
Sunday 27 May 2012, 17:00

Russian Art, Icons and Works of Art
Wednesday 30 May 2012, 10:30 and 14:00

Dimitri Bouchène Collection 
Wednesday 30 May 2012, 16:00

Viewing Days
Friday 25 May, 10:30–18:00
Saturday 26 May, 10:30–18:00
Sunday 27 May, 10:30–14:00
Monday 28 May, 10:30–18:00
Tuesday 29 May, 10:30–18:00

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


London – Christie’s announces the auction of Russian Art to take place on 28 May 2012 in London, and marking 40 years of Russian Art Sales at Christie’s. The auction will offer a rich selection of paintings and decorative works of art, the majority of which have been consigned from private sources, and will include masterpieces from many of the major movements in the development of Russian Art including Classic 19th Century Art, the Ecole de Paris, the Ballets Russes and the Avant-Garde.  Highlighted by over forty works of art by Fabergé and rare silverwork, the sale will also feature an impressive selection of Russian works of art, many of which are distinguished by their important Imperial provenance.

The sale is led by Zinaida Serebriakova’s (1884-1967) sensational Reclining nude (£800,000-1,200,0000) which was painted in 1930 following the artist’s emigration to paris. Born into an erudite and artistic family, her father was the sculptor Evgeny Lanceray and her uncle on her mother’s side was the painter Alexandre Benois. Serebriakova’s work, and in particular her nudes, is distinguished by an alluring combination of warm femininity and technical excellence.
Also executed in Paris, Alexandre Iacovleff’s (1887-1938) exquisite 1922 sanguine of the famed nude of Russia’s Silver Age, Salomé Andronikova (1888-1982 / estimate £150,000-200,000) is appearing at auction for the first time. The beautiful and intelligent Andronikova was a source of tremendous inspiration to painters such as Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin and Vasilii Shukhaev and for the poets Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelshtam.
In the wake of their highly successful tour to Moscow for the Christie’s exhibition at Mouravieff-Apostol Mansion, attended by over 4000 people, the sale on 28 May presents Ivan Aivazovsky’s (1817-1900) romantic seascape Searching for survivors and emotive Ox cart crossing a flooded plain (estimates: £250,000-350,000 and £400,000-800,000), in addition to Petr Konchalovsky’s (1876-1956) 1910 masterpiece, Spanish landscape. Konchalovsky’s vibrant depiction of Spanish terrain, which appears on the market for the first time, was first presented to the public at the iconic inaugural Jack of Diamonds exhibition that same year and provides the opportunity to acquire not only a master work by the artist but furthermore an important piece of Russian Art history (estimate: £600,000-800,000).

Alexander Volkov’s (1886-1957) Demon, in which the artist’s veneration for Mikhail Vrubel’s creative genius is palpable, also appears on the market for the first time (estimate: £300,000-500,000). Painted in 1916, this striking work was exhibited at the state Tretyakov Gallery in 2007. Executed the same year, Léon Bakst’s (1866-1924) passion for the Orient expresses itself in a comparable riot of colour in The Yellow Sultana, one of the finest examples of this supremely talented artist’s work to appear on the market in recent history (estimate: £350,000-450,000).
As ever, Christie’s Russian sale is characterized by the high quality of works on offer from a broad variety of movements and periods. The offering of superb paintings of Russian traditional 19th century art is led by Orest Kiprensky’s (1778-1836) Portrait of Prince Mikhail Alexandrovitch Galizine (1804-1860), which was painted in 1833 in Rome and is an extremely rare and important rediscovery of a portrait known only from literature (estimate: £200,000-300,000).


Christie’s sale offers a range of truly exceptional Russian works of art from distinguished private collections, most of which have never before appeared at auction.  The sale is led by a newly discovered Imperial Presentation snuff-box with the cypher of Emperor Nicholas II that was commissioned from the Imperial court jeweler, Hahn between 1899 and 1904. During the reign of Nicholas II, only 280 Russian subjects and 90 foreign dignitaries received Imperial Presentation snuff-boxes with the Emperor's jewelled cypher. Of these, only 59 were produced by the court supplier Hahn. According to family tradition, the present Imperial snuff-box descended from a Persian religious dignitary during the Qajar Dynasty (1785-1925). The emphasis that Russia placed on diplomatic relations with Persia throughout the years preceding World War I led to the presentation of a variety of opulent gifts. The Shah of Persia, Muzaffar al-Din, paid two state visits to Russia in 1900 and 1902. The Shah travelled with a vast entourage and the cabinet prepared a commensurately large quantity of gifts, including two diamond-set Imperial snuff-boxes by Hahn, to award during his visit in 1900 (estimate: £150,000-£250,000).

Christie’s May sale is also highlighted by a Fabergé two-colour gold and silver-mounted guilloché enamel desk clock, that is being offered from a distinguished Parisian private collection for the first time in decades (estimate: £80,000-£120,000, illustrated left).  This distinctively enamelled clock dates to Fabergé’s later production and is an excellent example of the firm’s increasingly modern design, where all ornament is pared down to simple stripes echoing the rectangular form of the clock 

The sale also offers two exceptionally rare kovshi, never before seen at auction. One is a very early silver kovsh, dating from the 17th century which has been part of a private collection since the 1930s (estimate: £30,000-£50,000, illustrated right). According to the inscription, this kovsh was presented to Ivan Nezhdanovskii by the ‘Great Sovereigns’ for his service as the head of customs collection in Yaroslavl between 1689 and 1690. Based on the inventory number, the second kovsh was made in 1900 and serves as an early example of neo-Russian design and Fabergé's innovative approach, using new materials (estimate: £15,000-£20,000). Fabergé started working closely with the Imperial Stroganov School in 1900, when the workshop won a gold medal at the Paris exhibition for its famous experimental ceramics. Luster-glazed earthenware vases and kovshi, like the present lot, are among the workshop's most prominent pieces and exemplify the collaborative work of the Imperial Stroganov School, under the direction of Georgy Monakhov, and Fabergé's Moscow branch.

8 King Street
Sale date: 28 May 2012, 10.30am & 2.30pm
Viewing dates: 25 May, 9.00-4.30pm
26-27 May, 12.00-5.00pm
Complete catalogue available online at or via the Christie’s iPhone app

Thursday, 17 May 2012

STUDY DAY: Russian and Soviet Art: From Icons to Socialist Realism, May 19

Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
Spring / Summer Term 2012
Russian and Soviet Art: From Icons to Socialist Realism, May 19th, Theodora Clarke MA
The Royal West of England Academy delivers a programme of one day Art History Day Schools delivered by recognised tutors and Academics providing an introduction to a number of subjects.
This study day is perfect for anyone with an interest in Russian and Soviet art, as we present the major movements and artists of 20th century Russia and examine the various “isms” of the avant-garde. Major artists include Kandinsky, Malevich, Tatlin, Lissitzky, Goncharova, Chagall, Rodchenko and Popova. We discuss Tsarist patronage of Russian art and such movements as the World of Art, the Blue Rose Group and the Wanderers. We then consider geometric non-objective painting, the creation of a new Soviet culture after the 1917 Russian Revolution and Socialist Realism after 1932.
All Day Schools are held on Saturdays, 10am - 4pm and cost £30 (note book 11 courses for the price of 10).
For more information on tutors please see Tutor Biographies.
Theodora Clarke MA is a lecturer and expert on Russian art. Having gained first class honours from Newcastle University in History of Art, she went on to study an MA at the Courtauld Institute. She is researching her PhD in Russian avant-garde art at Bristol University. She recently lectured at Tate Britain and is a consultant for Sotheby’s. Former work experience includes Christie’s and the Ashmolean Museum. She has travelled within Russia and is currently investigating Russian works in American collections.

To book please call 0117 9735 129 or download a Booking Form.
Royal West of England Academy 
Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX 
0117 973 5129


Would you like to work for a leading arts blog? We are the world's most popular website specialising in Russian art and culture. We are currently looking for a bright, motivated and resourceful student or recent graduate who would like to gain some work experience working in the world of art and online publishing based in our London office.

The role will be to assist the editor as Russian art and culture transitions from a blog to a professional website. Our readership is in 12 countries and we have over 20,000 page views on the site. 

We believe in being good mentors. When you start, the first thing we’ll do is discuss what you want to get out of the internship. We want this to be valuable work experience for you to build your CV and to teach you real skills that any employer will want. In return, we expect our interns to be individuals who will work hard to get the most out of this unique opportunity.

We are looking for a candidate with strong analytical and research skills. The candidate must be self-motivated and have a “can do” attitude as they will be often working autonomously. The candidate must be computer literate and have a comfortable telephone manner as well as first hand experience working with social media. This is a fantastic opportunity for any young person as it offers them invaluable experience.

Researching upcoming news and creating calendar of events eg. exhibitions, conferences, lectures
Building our database of clients and donors
Researching resources for Russian Art and Culture subscribers
Assisting with preparations for Russian Art Week in November
Assisting in the development of the new website

Marketing & PR
Helping develop PR campaigns for the company
Maintaining the on-line media strategy using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN with an aim to increase the company’s profile
Writing posts for the blog (there will be an opportunity to have articles published on the site)

An interest in Russian art and/or knowledge of Slavic culture would be beneficial. The website is in English but Russian speakers are also encouraged to apply. 

What you would get:
Gain valuable work experience 
Access to our extensive network 
Chance to work on your own projects with real responsibility
Opportunity to develop your employability skills to increase your chances of getting a job

There are two opportunities available:
1. Short term internship (2 weeks)- 23rd July-3rd August
2. Part-time internship (2 months)- August/September
For our longer internship programme we are interested in taking on a student (PhD preferred) who can commit to coming in for at least 3 days a week, starting in mid-August but dates are flexible.

The internship will take place at our office in Victoria but there will be the opportunity to do occasionally work from home. 

To apply please send your CV to:
Theodora Clarke
Editor, Russian Art and Culture

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Moscow International Book Fair, 5-10 Sept 2012

The Moscow International Book Fair is now the largest and most representative forum for the rapidly expanding Russian publishing industry. Russia is now the fourth biggest producer of books in the world in terms of published titles. MIBF is an event of truly international significance, featuring participants from more than 60 countries, and attracting more than 2000 participating organisations – publishers, distributors, libraries, universities and cultural centres.

The MIBF International Centre is designed to make your visit to the MIBF comfortable and effective. The International Centre helps international publishers to explore business opportunities in Russia, establish contacts, find partners, develop collaborative projects with Russian publishers, and meet leading Russian authors. 

The International Centre’s extensive programme offers a diverse range of presentations and discussions with leading international experts on key issues related to Russian and international publishing. 

The MIBF International Centre is divided into 4 sections: book a table at the International Rights Centre or present your publishing projects in the Presentation Theatre, join professional discussions and workshops in the Studio and arrange meetings with translators in the Translators’ Lounge.

Joining us at the Moscow International Book Fair is not only a great way to explore the vibrant Russian book market, but also a great opportunity to visit one of the world’s most fascinating cities and experience Russia’s unique culture and traditions. 

Academia Rossica would be delighted to help you with your visa and travel arrangements as well as the organisation of your cultural programme in Moscow.

For more information and contact:
+44 207 287 261476
Brewer Street,
London W1F 9TX, UK

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

EXH: Chagall: Modern Master at Tate Liverpool 2013

Chagall: Modern Master
Tate Liverpool: Exhibition
7 June – 29 September 2013
£13.50, concessions available
Tickets are not yet on sale.

Marc Chagall (1887–1985) is one of the great artists of the last century.  Bringing together more than sixty paintings and a selection of works on paper from across the world, Chagall: Modern Master takes a fresh look at this compelling artist who created some of the most poetic and enduring images of the twentieth century.  This exhibition will be the first major presentation of the Russian painter’s work in the UK for more than fifteen years. 

Marc Chagall
The Green Donkey 1911
Gouache on board
support: 324 x 413 mm
Presented by Lady Clerk 1947© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

 The exhibition will explore Chagall’s development from the ‘naïve’ folkloristic narratives in his early work, towards his unique style combining fauve, cubist, expressionist and suprematist influences while reflecting his native Jewish Russian culture.

 Chagall: Modern Master will focus on the artist’s time in Paris before the First world War, his visit to Berlin and his exhibition there in 1914, and the years he spent in his native Russia around the time of the Revolution in 1917.  Chagall’s experiences during this period reinforced his highly personal visual language.  The universal, timeless themes of these early works – including love, suffering and death – alongside self-portraits and depictions of the circus, music and peasants, recurred and formed the core of his art for the remainder of his long career.

 Chagall: Modern Master is organised by Kunsthaus Zürich (8 February – 12 May 2013) in collaboration with Tate Liverpool.