THE CITY OF PARIS
signed in Cyrillic and dated 61 l.r.
oil on canvas
Canvas: 27½ by 35½in., 70 by 90cm
Framed: 29¼ by 37¼in., 74.5 by 95cm
Original canvas on its original stretcher. There are some abrasions to the edges with minor associated paint loss. There is a small area of paint loss in the lower left corner. Fine cracks are visible in places. There is a light layer of surface dirt, otherwise in very good condition. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of retouching. Held in a black and gold painted tray frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Grosvenor Gallery, London
Sotheby and Co, 12 June 1968, lot 187
Acquired by the grandfather of the present owner
London, Grosvenor Gallery, Oscar Rabin, 10 June - 3 July 1965, no.23
Exhibition catalogue Oscar Rabin, London: Grosvenor Gallery, no.23 listed
In 1961 the artist was living with his family at Lianozovo, a former prison-camp barrack on the outskirts of Moscow which served as a cultural center for the intelligentsia and had never visited Paris. Rabin's imagined view of the city incorporates an approximation of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower into a scene otherwise filled with familiar tropes: the overhead electric cables from his days working in a railway yard, the glass jar of pussy willow in the foreground, the icon-like figure of Christ in the door portal.
This painting was exhibited at the artist's first solo exhibition at London's Grosvenor Gallery in 1965.