Lot 9
  • 9

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
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  • View of the Caucasus with Mount Kazbek in the Distance
  • signed in Cyrillic and dated 1868 l.l.
  • oil on canvas
  • 41 by 62.5cm, 16 1/4 by 24in.


Acquired by the grandfather of the present owner in St Petersburg before 1917
Thence by descent


Structural Condition The canvas is lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher. This is providing an even and stable structural support. Paint Surface The paint surface has an even varnish layer. There are a few small areas of drying craquelure, including within the foreground close to the lower part of the left vertical framing edge. These are stable and are not visually distracting. Inspection under ultra-violet light shows small spots and lines of retouching running along the lower edge, a few further minor retouchings on the extreme edges of the composition, some very fine lines of retouching covering craquelure within the ox and the cart, and a few very small spots of retouching within the upper right of the sky. Other very small spots of retouching are also visible. Summary The painting would therefore appear to be in very good and stable condition.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

In 1868 Aivazovsky set out on an extended journey across the Caucasus which took him to Yerevan, Tiflis, Dagestan, as well as Chechnya. It proved to be a very fruitful trip for the artist. His biographer Nikolai Sobko lists eleven Caucasian Views dating from 1868-69, in addition to paintings with more specific titles (G.Caffiero and I.Samarine, Seas, Cities and Dreams. The Paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky, London, 2000, p.310). While in Yerevan, Aivazovsky painted Mount Ararat, a view of which dating from 1869 was sold in these rooms in 2005. The signature on the latter closely resembles the one found on the present work, and in both works is applied diagonally across a rocky outcrop in the lower left of the composition.

View of the Caucasus with Mount Kazbek in the Distance was acquired by the grandfather of the present owner, a German national who lived in St Petersburg from approximately 1907 until 1917. The director of a shoe factory, he is known to have bought a number of paintings while in Russia and his collection included a second Aivazovsky, a seascape, long since sold.

The present work is included in the numbered archive of the artist's work compiled by Gianni Caffiero and Ivan Samarine.