Although Shukhaev’s Finnish period was short, the ten month he spent there in 1920 were very productive and expanded his horizons; in his work one begins to trace new strains and see the influence of Neoclassicism waning. The artist produced dozens of works while in Finland, including views of the village of Mustamyaki, where he stayed on the estate of Pauline Linde, the mother of the actress Anna Geinz, who had been a friend of Shukhaev and Yakovlev in St Petersburg.
It was in Mustamyaki that Shukhaev first turned to landscape painting, a genre which had not been a primary focus of his until then. The earliest of these paintings was Village Landscape, Finland (1920), the first of Shukhaev's works to show stylistic elements close to those of the avant-garde. As he continued to paint Finnish landscapes in Paris they increasingly grew more avant-garde in style. While he exhibited paintings such as Finnish Village, Roofs, A Provincial Street (Finnish Landscape) and Winter in Finland, the present lot appears not to have been shown in public at the time. Shukhaev had started painting it in 1921, and although the work was also inspired by Mustamyaki, the artist decided to call it Russian Landscape, or Russian Landscape (The Provinces), as noted by his wife Vera on the reverse of a photograph of the painting (fig.1).
We would like to thank Dr Elena Yakovleva, art historian and senior research fellow of the Russian Institute of Art History, for providing additional cataloguing information.
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