VASILY DMITRIEVICH POLENOV
signed in Cyrillic and dated 97 l.r.; further numbered N476 on the reverse
oil on canvas
40 by 65.5cm, 15¾ by 25¾in.
Original canvas. There is craquelure in places, most notably to the painted elements of the barge and to the sky. The craquleure as well as abrasions have caused minor paint loss to the sky, in particular to the right of the rigging. There are scattered flecks of paint loss elsewhere. There are frame abrasions with associated paint loss, in particular to all four corners. There is a layer of surface dirt. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of restoration. Held in a 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 Yasher-Sheftell Collection, from the 1940s
Thence by descent
Sotheby's London, Russian Art Evening Sale, 8 June 2009, lot 2
St Petersburg, Moscow, Penza et al., XXVI Itinerant Exhibition, 22 February 1898 - 21 February 1899
Exhibition catalogue Illyustrirovannyi katalog XXVI vystavki tovarishchestva peredvizhnykh khudozhestvennykh vystavok, Moscow: K.A. Fisher, 1898, p.11, no.97 listed as Barka
G.Romanov (Ed.), The Society of Itinerant Fine Art Exhibitions: 1871-1923. An Encyclopaedia, St Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg Orkestr, 2003, p.203, no.3-136 listed
In 1887 Polenov wrote 'I am dreaming of a house on the bank of the Oka, how we will furnish it, live there, organise a museum, picture gallery and a library...Great plans...maybe they will come true'. Four years later the artist bought an estate on the banks of the great river that runs through the Tula region and where to this day his legacy is preserved at the Polenovo estate museum.
The number N476 on the reverse of the present lot (fig.1) appears to be in Polenov's hand and corresponds to the inventory preserved in the artist's family archive at Polenovo (fig.2). The number 97 inscribed on the stretcher corresponds to the listing in the exhibition catalogue for the 26th Itinerant Exhibition in 1898.