Annenkov lived in Paris before the First World War and the portraits he painted and drew on his return to Russia show the profound influence of French Cubism, with its geometric stylisation, emphasis on line and fractured planes. Among the other writers and artists who feature in Annenkov’s famous 1922 volume of modernist portraits are Akhmatova, Altman, Benois, Chukovsky, Gorky, Khudosevich, Kuzmin, Remizov, Sologub, Zamyatin and Blok on his deathbed.
The sheet has discoloured in line with age and there is a layer of surface dirt and some faint handling marks. The artist made several changes to the composition in the lower half, including the neckline and tie. There is a crease to the tie. An area of surface abrasion can be seen to the upper right corner. There is a horizontal surface scratch running below his hair across the jawline. There is a minor indentation in the upper left to the left of his head and a smaller indentation to the right of his eye. There is a white scuff mark to the upper part of the fringe. There are a few scattered spots of foxing in places. The sheet is attached to the mount along all four edges. Held in a wooden frame behind Plexiglass. 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."