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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Alexei Petrovich Bogoliubov
VENICE BY MOONLIGHT
ACCÉDER AU LOT
340

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Alexei Petrovich Bogoliubov
VENICE BY MOONLIGHT
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Russian Art Day Sale

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Londres

Alexei Petrovich Bogoliubov
1824-1896
VENICE BY MOONLIGHT

Provenance

Acquired by the grandfather of the present owner

Description

'Warm evening. The full moon shines out intently. Night falls, curtain-like, and at once I am more in love with Venice than ever. The dark gondolas glisten in silver strips on the surface of the Grand Canal and Lagoon. A light blue gauze covers everything' (A.Bogoliubov, Notes of a Sailor-Artist p.48). Bogoliubov first visited Venice in 1854. 'It became engraved in my memory. I painted it often, every view in every light, and I will carry on painting it until the end of my life' (ibid., p.49).  His Venetian views were exhibition highlights in Russia and Europe, some worked up from sketches and others painted in situ, but arguably his most successful are those which depict the city illuminated at night (fig.1).

These dusk cityscapes are characterised by an effervescent light, as though the city itself is dancing amid the multi-coloured reflections playing on the water. In the present work Bogoliubov arranges dramatic contrasts: cold moonlight seeps over the cupola and rooftops, picking out details on the pediment's white statues and the gondola's passengers; flames flicker on the distant boats and the Palladian façade of San Giorgio Maggiore; a translucent sail glows with the warmth of the portico ceremonies and the artist's characteristic bottle-green flame punctuates the darkness nearby.

Bogoliubov loved the sense of 'luxury and the soporific sensation of the gondola'. The passengers, artist and viewer are all in a sense spectators and the gondolier is the natural focal point as the only active element. 'The gondoliers give wonderful concerts in their red and blue uniforms under the arch of the Ponte Rialto...' wrote Bogoliubov, 'It is particularly wonderful to be regaled by a gondolier's thick baritone voice at night as one strolls through the magical canals and lagoons' (ibid., p.51). 

Russian Art Day Sale

|
Londres