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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, MOSCOW

Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev
THE COACHMAN
JUMP TO LOT
30

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, MOSCOW

Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev
THE COACHMAN
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Russian Art

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London

Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev
1878-1927
THE COACHMAN
signed in Cyrillic and dated 1920 l.r.
watercolour over pencil on paper
33 by 28.3cm, 13 by 11in.
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Provenance

A gift from the artist to Leonid Zakharovich Katz (1886-1976)
Thence by descent to his great-granddaughter

Catalogue Note

Having studied in Germany, Leonid Zakharovich Katz went on to become an extremely successful and well-known lawyer in Moscow in the 1920s. His clients included high-profile writers and artists of every kind, and it was to Katz that Boris Kustodiev also turned for professional legal advice on a particular case. The court ruled in Kustodiev’s favour, and as a mark of gratitude Kustodiev presented the lawyer with this watercolour. It hung in the Katz family house on ulitsa Vorovskogo (renamed Povarskaya ulitsa in 1993), where he lived with his daughter Irina, who became a lawyer,  and his son, Yuri, an artist.  

After the war, Katz won a case relating to a property dispute on behalf of some actors of the Bolshoi theatre who were shareholders of a co-operative building on Bryusovsky pereulok. As a mark of gratitude they gave him the opportunity to obtain one of the apartments in the building. The Katz family moved into their new spacious five-roomed apartment on the 8th floor where they were based until 1989.

Kustodiev is known to have produced a number of versions of this composition from his Russkie tipy series, made so famous by the 1924 Brooklyn exhibition poster (fig.1). At least three watercolour versions are known: Izvozchik-likhach (1920, 33.7 by 28.2cm, Muzei-kvartira I.I.Brodskogo); Izvozchik (1920, 41.5 by 34cm, The Berdyansk Art Museum im.I.I.Brodskogo); and Likhach, Watercolour sketch (1920, 27.5 by 20cm, Private Collection). The composition of each differs slightly. In the present work for example, the details in the background, the coachman’s belt and mitten, the number on the droshka.

Important Russian Art

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London