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44

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
A LONELY WOMAN
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 370,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
44

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
A LONELY WOMAN
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 370,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Russian Pictures

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London

Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
1862-1942
A LONELY WOMAN
signed in Cyrillic and dated 1922 l.r.; further bearing the Grand Central Palace exhibition label on the stretcher
oil on canvas
69 by 81cm, 27 by 31 3/4 in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Acquired in the mid-1920s by Sonia Colefax, New York
Thence by descent
Sotheby's London, Russian Art Evening Sale, 8 June 2009, lot 11 
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

New York, Grand Central Palace, The Russian Art Exhibition, 8 March - 15 April 1924, no.551

Literature

Exhibition catalogue Russian Art Exhibition, New York, 1924, no.551 listed as A Lonely Woman

Catalogue Note

The early 1920s were a period of withdrawal and material hardship for Nesterov. Deeply affected by the national and private upheavals of recent years, he found solace in painting, executing a series of works on the theme of private contemplation which includes the present lot and its male counterpart, The Thinker: Portrait of Ivan Ilyin (fig.1). A Lonely Woman was one of nine paintings by Nesterov included in the remarkable 1924 Russian Art Exhibition in New York. In the words of one American commentator: 'the feeling of an older Russia is reflected in the spiritual apparitions of Nesterov, as his figures stand or move among the delicate birch trees...' (The Art News, No.22, 8 March 1924).

Sonia Colefax was one of the most colourful Russian émigrés to have arrived in America in the early 1920s. Educated in Europe before the Revolution, she emigrated to New York in 1922 and owned a dacha on Long Island, designed by an émigré Russian architect. It became a mecca for Russian artists and American high society, who were entertained by the resident gypsy singer and catered for by a Russian cook. Colefax built the core of her collection of Russian art between 1924 and 1930. The present lot was purchased after the 1924 Russian Art Exhibition in New York together with Boris Kustodiev's In the Provinces (1920) and Sergei Vinogradov's Lady in Interior (1924).

Russian Pictures

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