Lot 12
  • 12

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
31,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
  • Café
  • inscribed France and dated 1925 l.r.; further signed in Cyrillic and inscribed Puys de Dieppe, Kafe na beregu morya on the reverse
  • ink and wash on paper


The collection of B.D.Suris (1923-1991), St Petersburg

Catalogue Note

In the summer of 1924, Petrov-Vodkin brought his family to France where he would spend his time principally between Paris and the village of Puys near Dieppe. His focus on graphic work during this year abroad resulted in a superb series of ink and wash drawings, almost monochrome watercolours. ‘The already habitual sense of off-vertical special relationships intrudes his compositions almost surreptitiously’ writes Yuri Rusakov of these seaside landscapes and domestic interiors, ‘so that at first glance the inclined wall of a house or a room fails to arrest attention; however, the moment the viewer notices this he sees that human figures also deviate from the vertical’ (Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Aurora Art Publishers, 1986, p.168).

Café incorporates many of Petrov-Vodkin’s distinctive techniques: the off-kilter perspective, the window frame and figure with his back to the viewer looking beyond, or the sense of background washing through the translucent foreground that we see in By the Window (1925, The State Tretyakov Gallery).

Boris Davidovich Suris was among the most famous connoisseurs of early twentieth century Russian graphic art and his collection of works by Petrov-Vodkin from the 1920s was particularly fine, including In the Salon (1925, fig.1), Interior with a Stove (1925), Old Dieppe (1925). For comparable works from the period, see Y.Rusakov, Risunki Petrova-Vodkina. Isskustvo, 1978 and V.Kostin, K.S.Petrov-Vodkin, Sovietskii khudozhnik, 1966.