Property from an Important Private Collection, United States
VASILY IVANOVICH SHUKHAEV | Captain Obourd, Study for The Conversation
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 GBP
VASILY IVANOVICH SHUKHAEV
Captain Obourd, Study for The Conversation
signed and inscribed with a dedication to Henrietta Girshman in Cyrillic, inscribed Paris in Latin and dated 11/6 1922 l.r.
sanguine and charcoal on artist's board
46.5 by 41.5cm, 18¼ by 16¼in.
This portrait is a preparatory study for the lost painting The Conversation, exhibited at the Barbazanges Gallery in 1921. A surviving photograph of the painting, now in a private archive, shows three figures sitting around a table deep in conversation. On the reverse of the photograph is an inscription by Vera Shukhaeva, the artist's wife: 'in Port-Cros. sailors and Sidoni at the table'. The Shukhaevs stayed with Giselle Bunau-Varilla on the island of Port-Cros in 1921 and from their correspondence it is possible to identify the sitter of the present study as Capitain Obourd who ferried guests between the island and the mainland.
Henrietta Girshman, to whom the work is dedicated, was a Russian émigré living in Paris where she and her husband Vladimir had a gallery. They regularly hosted other émigré artists and she sat for portraits by Serov, Somov, Pasternak and Serebriakova amongst others.