KONSTANTIN EGOROVICH MAKOVSKY | PORTRAIT OF MARIA ALEXEEVNA MAKOVSKAYA
KONSTANTIN EGOROVICH MAKOVSKY
PORTRAIT OF MARIA ALEXEEVNA MAKOVSKAYA
signed in Latin l.r.
oil on canvas
Canvas: 116.5 by 80.5cm, 45¾ by 31¾in.
Framed: 145.5 by 110cm, 57¼ by 43¼in.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
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Original canvas. There is craquelure throughout, most notable are the slightly raised horizontal cracks to the background in the upper half of the canvas, as well as an area of circular craquelure to the left of the headpiece. There are several small areas of paint loss along the bottom edge. There is another small area of paint loss to the fur trim to the left of the sitter's ear, a fleck of paint loss to the right sleeve, as well as several tiny flecks to the feathers of the headpiece as well as to the background to the right of the head. Tiny flecks of paint loss are scattered elsewhere. There is a light layer of surface dirt with the occasional spot of dirt in places. Inspection under UV light reveals retouching along the bottom edge, to the upper right corner, to the headpiece, the collar as well as to the glove. There is some further minor retouching to and around the eyes, as well as some scattered retouching elsewhere. 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.
The family of the artist
Konstantin Makovsky painted an array of women's portraits, not only commissions for the rich and famous but also his own family members. The present work, portraying the artist’s third wife Maria, is a beautiful example of his inimitable style. Combining both the formal and the intimate, displaying grandiose and sentimental stylistic traits, the artist creates a light and romantic atmosphere typical of his salon portraiture.
Makovsky first met Maria Alexeevna Matavtina at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris where he exhibited a selection of paintings. The artist immediately fell in love with the beautiful Maria, his junior by thirty years, and the couple embarked upon an affair which became public knowledge in 1891 after the birth of their first child Konstantin. It took nearly ten years for Makovsky to settle his divorce with his second wife Yulia who would never forgive him for the betrayal. Maria Matavtina and Konstantin Makovsky were finally married in June 1898 by which time the couple had already had three children.
Makovsky painted Maria from the earliest days of their relationship and some of these portraits have been exhibited in Russia and abroad. Maria also modelled for such famous canvases as Romeo and Juliet (1895) now in the collection of the Odessa Fine Arts Museum and Ophelia (1911) which was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2004 (fig.1).