MIKHAIL FEDOROVICH LARIONOV | LANDSCAPE (THE ORCHARD)
MIKHAIL FEDOROVICH LARIONOV
LANDSCAPE (THE ORCHARD)
bearing two handwritten labels in Cyrillic for the Moscow Repository for Contemporary Art and a Union of Russian Artists exhibition label on the reverse; further bearing other labels and various inscriptions on the reverse and the stretcher
oil on canvas
78.5 by 98.5cm, 31 by 38¾in.
Original canvas. There is craquelure in places, most notably in the sky, where there are a few associated scattered flecks of paint loss. There are some minor losses to the impasto in the lower left. Minor frame abrasions are visible along the edges. Inspection under UV light reveals some minor retouching to the sky. Otherwise in very good condition and ready to hang. Held in a gilt wooden frame with decorative mouldings.
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.
The artist's studio, Moscow
The Moscow Repository for Contemporary Art (1918-1922)
With the architect and collector Nikolai Vinogradov
The artist's studio, Paris (1927-1964)
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1969
Exhibition catalogue Katalog VI vystavki kartin Soyuza russkikh khudozhnikov, St Petersburg, 1909, p.15, no.207 listed as Peyzazh
W.George, Larionov, Lausanne: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1966, p.117 illustrated
Exhibition catalogue Michel Larionov, Lyon: Musée de Lyon, 1967, p.3, no.13 listed as Le Verger
Exhibition catalogue Larionov, New York: Acquavella Galleries, 1969, no.9 illustrated and listed as Le Verger
St Petersburg, VI vystavka kartin Soyuza russkikh khudozhnikov, 1909, no.207
Lyon, Musée de Lyon, Michel Larionov, 1967, no.13
New York, Acquavella Galleries, Michel Larionov, 22 April - 24 May 1969, no.9
Landscape (The Orchard) was acquired by the present owner on the very first day of Larionov’s retrospective exhibition in 1969 at the Acquavella Galleries in New York. In the Acquavella catalogue the work is said to have been exhibited at the Moscow leg of the Union of Russian Artists in 1909 under the title Landscape (no.207) but it is in fact recorded in the catalogue for the St Petersburg, not Moscow exhibition (fig.2). There is an exhibition label on the reverse which most likely refers to this 1909 show (fig.3) for it gives the artist’s return address as Palashevskii pereulok where he lived with Natalia Goncharova (in an apartment in the house her architect father built) between 1908 and their emigration in 1915. Also on the reverse are two handwritten labels with inventory numbers from the Moscow Repository for Contemporary Art (fig.1) where the painting was stored by the artists’ friend Nikolai Vinogradov for safekeeping after the Revolution before eventually being returned to Larionov in Paris in 1927.
One of Larionov’s most accomplished canvases from his Impressionist period, the influence of the French artists is clear, particularly that of Monet whose work Larionov had seen in the collection of Sergei Shchukin. The canvas is decorated with a rhythmic pattern of vertical streaks, like light over rippling water, bringing the surface to life and creating a unity of atmospheric effects as well as prefiguring his later Rayonist works. The carefully arranged composition with patches of chromatically-ordered colour owes much to the artists of the Nabis, whom Larionov would have been familiar with from the collection of that other great Russian connoisseur Ivan Morozov. The young artist’s innate talent as a colourist is striking. Nikolai Punin, the leading Russian critic of the day believed Larionov’s early period to be an important contribution to the development of Russian modernism: ‘in these early pieces of his one can already observe the great artistically revolutionary will that subsequently made Larionov the head of a new school’.