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Details & Cataloguing

Russian Pictures

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London

Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky
1868-1945
THE SCHOOLGIRL
signed in in Cyrillic l.l.
oil on canvas
158 by 119cm, 62 1/2 by 46 3/4 in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, The Russian Sale, 17 June 1993, lot 370
Sotheby's London, The Russian Sale, 1 December 2005, lot 92
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Petrograd, Moscow, XLVI Itinerant Exhibition, 1917-1918

Literature

Katalog XLVI peredvizhnoi vystavki kartin Tovarishchestva peredvizhnykh khudozhestvennykh vystavok, Petrograd, 1917, no.11 listed
G.Romanov (ed.), The Society of Itinerant Art Exhibitions, 1871-1923, An Encyclopaedia, St Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg Orkestr, 2003, p.449, no.10-31 listed and illustrated b/w

Catalogue Note

The Schoolgirl was among the works Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky showed at the 46th Itinerant Exhibition in 1917-1918, which would be the last Itinerant Exhibition the artist participated in. Against all odds the show was a great success: 'We assumed that during the revolutionary events people would be indifferent to art and that we would struggle to sell anything. Fortunately, we were wrong… our exhibition was well-attended and many of the works sold. […] Connoisseurs flocked to the venue, so much so that the exhibition administrator could hardly keep up with the purchases, and all this despite the high prices.' (quoted in V.Vegenov, 'N.P. Bogdanov-Belsky u «peredvizhnikov»', Russkii vestnik, no.13 (79), 1943, p.4).

Bogdanov-Belsky painted the present work at the local school in Ostrovno in Tver Province, where he had settled in 1914, only visiting Petrograd in winter to work on portrait commissions. 'I found the spontaneity and aptitude of peasant children so compelling that they became the natural subjects of my paintings', the artist remarked (quoted in N.Lapidus, Bogdanov-Belsky, Moscow, 2005, p.16).

Russian Pictures

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London