This year’s World Cup will kick off in Russia on 14 June with 32 teams from across the globe setting their sights on lifting the hallowed trophy.
Football was a favourite post-revolutionary theme in Russian art ever since Alexander Deineka’s large-scale works of the 1920s as well as Korotkov’s Football Match, which features in the Russian Pictures sale in London on 5 June.
The appeal of sport, according to Korotkov, was that it was democratic, popular, positive, optimistic, lyrical and able to accommodate ‘shades of feeling’.
An emphasis on the ideals of youth, health and unity continued through the Soviet era and images of mass gatherings in stadiums remained popular.
A Kiev-based artist, Korotkov would no doubt have been aware of the legendary football matches which took place in the city against occupation forces during the Second World War, subsequently the subject of numerous books and films and part of Kiev’s heroic war history.