Sotheby’s London, The Russian Sale, 14 December 1995, lot 325 Sotheby's London, The Russian Sale, 20 November 2001, lot 133
Probably Stanleyville, Belgian Congo, 1925
Yakovlev executed Portrait of the Tribal Chief Calondo in Stanleyville (modern day Kisangani), the capital of the Belgian Congo, where he arrived with the Croisière Noire expedition on 12 March 1925. Three days later the artist opened an impromptu exhibition which showcased the drawings created over the course of the expedition and most likely included the present lot. From Catholic missionaries clad in cassocks to Azande warriors armed with assegai poles, the exhibition drew an unusually diverse audience. In his travel diary Georges-Marie Haardt, the head of the expedition, noted that its 'effect was most astonishing – no other showing of paintings ever enjoyed such a rapturous reception'.
The sheet has been laid down. There are two parallel lines running horizontally across the centre which are inherent to the sheet. The sheet has discoloured and there is foxing throughout. There is water staining across the lower edge of the sheet and evidence of possible restoration in the lower right corner. There is a small repaired tear to the centre of the upper edge of the sheet. Held in a simple wooden frame behind glass. Unexamined out of frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."