NIKOLAI EGOROVICH SVERCHKOV
A Fiery Steed
signed in Latin and dated 61 l.r.
oil on canvas
81.5 by 65cm, 32 by 25½in.
The canvas has been lined and is slightly buckling in places. There is a horizontal scratch with associated paint loss through the signature as well as other scratches between the right edge and the metal ring in the upper right quadrant. There is craquelure throughout. A small area of restoration to the background just below the horse's tail is visible to the naked eye. There is a layer of surface dirt with spots in places. There are abrasions along the edges. Inspection under UV light reveals retouching to the aforementioned restoration, some minor retouching to the horse as well as some minor scattered retouching elsewhere. Held in a gold and black painted wooden frame with a fabric slip. 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."
Galerie Basmadjian, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner in early 1989
Moscow, The State Tretyakov Gallery; Leningrad, The State Hermitage Museum, Vystavka khudozhestvennyh proizvedenii XVI-XX vekov iz sobraniya G.Basmadzhiana, July-September 1988
Paris, Fondation Mona Bismarck, Alfred de Dreux: Le cheval, passion d'un dandy parisien, February-March 1997
Exhibition catalogue, Collection Basmadjian, Paris: Galerie Basmadjian, 1988, illustratred
J.-P. Digard, J.-L. Gouraud, Le cheval, romans et nouvelles, Paris: Omnibus, 1995, reproduced on the cover
The present lot is signed in Latin because it dates to the three year period Sverchov spent in France (1861-1864), renting a studio at 9 rue Brochart-de-Saron. This was an extremely productive and successful period for the artist; in 1863 the Emperor Napoleon III purchased Return from the Bear Hunt from the artist in person.
Sverchkov was particularly pleased with the successful composition of A Fiery Steed and repeated it several times. A later version, dated 1864, is now in the collection of the Museum of the Horse at the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow (fig.1).