View full screen - View 1 of Lot 36. ALEXEI KONDRATIEVICH SAVRASOV | VIEW OF MOSCOW.



350,000 to - 550,000 GBP




350,000 to - 550,000 GBP




bearing a Prague exhibition label on the stretcher

oil on canvas

Canvas: 75 by 97cm, 29½ by 38¼in.

Framed: 91.5 by 113.5cm, 36 by 44¾in.

Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

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The canvas has been lined and put onto a new stretcher. There are minor losses to the original canvas along the edges and to the corners. Faint stretcher bar marks are visible in places. There is craquelure throughout. Inspection under UV light reveals retouching to the sky, to the foreground, to the tree and house on the right, to the house and church on the left, to the aforementioned stretcher bar marks, along the edges, as well as further scattered retouching throughout. Framed.

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.

Collection of Jaroslav Koutský, diplomat to the Soviet Union between 1920-1930, Prague

Exhibition catalogue Retrospektivni vystavy ruskeho malirstvi XVIII-XX st., Prague: 1935, p.25, no.37 listed

V.Fiala, 'Nezname pohledy na Petrohrad a Moskvu', Praha-Moskva, 1956, no.2, pp.236-238 mentioned in the text; p.193 illustrated

V.Fiala, Russkaya zhivopis' v sobraniyakh Chekhoslovakii, Leningrad: Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1974, p.133, no.403 listed

Prague, Slavonic Institute, Retrospektivni vystava ruskeho malirstvi XVIII-XX st., 1935, no.37

View of Moscow was the only work by Savrasov included in the 1935 exhibition of Russian art in Prague. The painting is documented in photographs taken of the exhibition (fig.1-2) and is recorded in the catalogue where it is listed as belonging to a private Prague collector with the initials J.K. — Jaroslav Koutský who served as a diplomat to the Soviet Union between 1920 and 1930. Vladimir Fiala later reproduced the work in his 1956 article on unknown views of Petrograd and Moscow and referenced it in his 1974 book on Russian art in private collections in Czechoslovakia. The famous art historian described the painting as follows: ‘The foreground consists of an uneven wasteland with a damaged tree and a rotten stump in the right corner. All the middle ground is occupied by village huts, and on the left-hand side there is a little church with a single onion dome. Further behind the bend of the Moskva River opens the view towards the city with the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour clearly visible.’

Depicted from an elevated viewpoint on the right bank of the Moskva in the surroundings of Andreevsky monastery, the present composition poetically juxtaposes the architectural panorama of the capital with the austere untouched beauty of the Russian countryside. Vast green terraces stretching along the river on the right side of the composition depict the historical Neskuchny garden and Golitsyn Hospital park. The white granite wall, also known as Golitsyn Wall, with elegant rotundas at its ends was designed by the famous neoclassical architect Matvey Kazakov and marked the limits of the hospital garden along the embankment. 

Landscapes of Moscow and its surroundings occupy a special place in Savrasov’s work. As a native Muscovite, a pupil and later professor of the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture, Savrasov revisited the subject of the city on multiple occasions. His early compositions such as View of the Kremlin in Inclement Weather (1851, State Tretyakov Gallery, fig.3) or later works like View of the Moscow Kremlin, Spring (1873, State Russian Museum, fig.4) are among the finest examples of the Moscow landscape school.