Lot 42
  • 42

Alexander Evgenievich Yakovlev

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Alexander Evgenievich Yakovlev
  • Mongolian Lamas
  • signed in Latin, dedicated to Martin Birnbaum and dated 1918 l.r.; further inscribed by Martin Birnbaum in Latin on the reverse
  • sanguine and pencil on paper
  • 52.5 by 78.5cm, 20 3/4 by 31in.
signed and inscribed in Latin and dated 1918 l.r.


A gift from the artist to his biographer and friend Martin Birnbaum
Acquired by Boris Bakhmeteff before 1939


Possibly Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Exhibition of the Works of Alexandre Evguenievitch Iacovleff, 1922, no.27
New York, Memorial Exhibition of the Work of Alexandre Iacovleff (1887-1938), 11 - 29 April 1939, no.152 


Possibly exhibition catalogue Exhibition of the Works of Alexandre Evguenievitch Iacovleff, Detroit, 1922, no.27 listed as Lama Miao, Mongolia
Exhibition catalogue Memorial Exhibition of the Work of Alexandre Iacovleff (1887-1938), New York, 1939, no.152 Mongolian Lamas (loaned by Mr and Mrs Boris Bakhmeteff)

Catalogue Note

The present depiction of a group of Mongolian lamas at prayer was taken in one of the temples of the trade city of Lama-Miao (‘Monastery of the Lamas’), otherwise known as Dolon-Nor (‘Seven Lakes’). By 1918 Yakovlev was midway through his two-year trip across Far East in a journey which took in China, Mongolia and Japan. This was Yakovlev’s second academic expedition to be sponsored by the Petrograd Imperial Academy of Arts after his earlier two year European tour (1914-1915). 

The artist set out from Pekin for Mongolia in the summer of 1918. He would spend two months exploring and drawing in the sandy plains of Dolon-Nor, accompanied by an ex-Russian Cossack who acted as guide and translator. His depiction of the shaven-headed lamas, young and old, is accurate and convincing. We see them here with their outer garments covering their yellow robes as was the custom during prayers. 

We would like to thank Dr Elena Yakovleva, art historian, for providing this catalogue note.