Lot 60
  • 60

Vasily Ivanovich Shukhaev

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
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  • Vasily Ivanovich Shukhaev
  • Russian Landscape
  • signed in Latin and dated 22 l.r.
  • oil on canvas laid on board
  • 51 by 59.5cm, 20 by 23 1/2 in.


Sotheby's London, The Russian Sale, 29 April 1999, lot 179


I.Myamlin, Vasilii Ivanovich Shukhaev, Leningrad: Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1972, p.45 mentioned in the text; p.149 listed under works from 1920-1921 
E.Yakovleva, N.Elizbarashvili, 'Finlyandskii period tvorchestva V.I.Shukhaeva' in
Rossiiskoe zarubezh'e v Finlyandii mezhdu dvumya mirovymi voinami: sbornik nauchnykh trudov, St Petersburg, 2004, p.54 mentioned in the text
The State Russian Museum: A Time to Gather... Russian Art from Foreign Private Collections, St Petersburg: Palace Editions, 2007, p.237, no.172 illustrated
E.Yakovleva, Vasilii Shukhaev. Zhizn' i tvorchestvo, Moscow: Galart, 2010, p.283, no.25 illustrated b/w
Exhibition catalogue Vasilii Shukhaev: A Retrospective, Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2014, p.26, no.19 illustrated


The canvas has been laid on board. There are abrasions along all four edges with losses in places. There are pinholes in all four corners. There are abrasions and impressions to the paint surface, notably along the left edge. There is a layer of surface dirt with spots in places. Inspection under UV light reveals an unevenly discoloured varnish, old retouching to the right edge, to the right of the top edge, to the top left corner, to the centre of the left edge as well as more recent retouching to the bottom left corner, the bottom right corner and the centre of the bottom edge. There is a further fine line of retouching approximately 10cm in length in the upper right quadrant. Held in a partially gilt floating 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.

Catalogue Note

The present work is closely related to Shukhaev's series of Finnish landscapes and was completed in Paris in 1922. Shukhaev had arrived in France early the previous year. Prior to that he had spent a year in Finland waiting for his visa and other documents from his friend and former fellow student at the Imperial Academy of Arts, Alexander Yakovlev, who had been living in Paris since late 1919. The two had dreamt of an artistic career in France since before the war and the Russian Revolution only accelerated their decision to move. Although Shukhaev’s Finnish period was short, the ten month he spent there in 1920 were very productive and expanded his horizons; in his work one begins to trace new strains and see the influence of Neoclassicism waning. The artist produced dozens of works while in Finland, including views of the village of Mustamyaki, where he stayed on the estate of Pauline Linde, the mother of the actress Anna Geinz, who had been a friend of Shukhaev and Yakovlev in St Petersburg.

It was in Mustamyaki that Shukhaev first turned to landscape painting, a genre which had not been a primary focus of his until then. The earliest of these paintings was Village Landscape, Finland (1920), the first of Shukhaev's works to show stylistic elements close to those of the avant-garde. As he continued to paint Finnish landscapes in Paris they increasingly grew more avant-garde in style. While he exhibited paintings such as Finnish Village, Roofs, A Provincial Street (Finnish Landscape) and Winter in Finland, the present lot appears not to have been shown in public at the time. Shukhaev had started painting it in 1921, and although the work was also inspired by Mustamyaki, the artist decided to call it Russian Landscape, or Russian Landscape (The Provinces), as noted by his wife Vera on the reverse of a photograph of the painting (fig.1).

We would like to thank Dr Elena Yakovleva, art historian and senior research fellow of the Russian Institute of Art History, for providing additional cataloguing information.