Football was a favourite post-revolutionary theme ever since Alexander Deineka’s large-scale works of the 1920s. The appeal of sport, according to this leading exponent of the genre, was that it was democratic, popular, positive, optimistic, lyrical and able to accommodate ‘shades of feeling’. An emphasis on the ideals of youth, health and unity continued through the Soviet era and images of mass gatherings in stadiums remained popular. A Kiev-based artist, Korotkov would no doubt have been aware of the legendary football matches which took place in the city against occupation forces during the Second World War, subsequently the subject of numerous books and films and part of Kiev’s heroic war history.
The canvas has been laid down on cradled fibreboard. There are several areas of craquelure throughout the composition, notably to the grass below the football, to the lower left corner, to the sky and to the trees above the tribune on the right. There is a layer of light surface dirt with spots of dirt in places, notably along the top and bottom edges. Inspection under UV light reveals an uneven layer of discoloured varnish, an area of old retouching to the sky in the upper right corner, retouching along the top edge as well as other scattered areas of retouching elsewhere in the sky. Held in a gilt wooden frame,. 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."