- Alexei Harlamoff
- Choosing Apples
- signed Harlamoff (lower right)
- oil on canvas
- 28 7/8 by 21 3/8 in.
- 73.3 by 54.3 cm
Sale: Sotheby's, London, November 16, 1994, lot 55, illustrated
Richard Green, London
Private Collection, United Kingdom
Harlamoff studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and won a gold medal and a travel scholarship in 1868 for his painting The Return of the Prodigal Son. This enabled him to go to Paris, where he remained, working with the great portrait painter and teacher at the École des Beaux-Arts, Léon Bonnat (1834-1922). In his early career, Harlamoff painted many genre and religious subjects, learning his skills by copying Old Master paintings such as Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. He also became a respected portrait painter, and counted such dignified sitters as Tsar Alexander II and Prince Demidoff among his patrons. His most beloved subjects, however, were informal portraits of peasant girls, so popular with artists of the end of the nineteenth century, while capturing the ambiance in the details of dress and domestic context.
Harlamoff's work was exhibited in the Russian section of the Décennale exhibition of art produced between 1889 and 1900, which was part of Paris' Exposition Universelle, 1900.