NATALIA NESTEROVA | MATSESTA
Property from a Private European Collection
signed in Cyrillic Nest l.l.; further signed, titled and dated 1982 on the reverse and bearing a USSR export label on the stretcher
oil on canvas
Canvas: 114 by 114cm, 44¾ 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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Original canvas. There is a small area of paint loss in the upper right corner, and some very minor losses to the edges and corners elsewhere. There is a further fleck of paint loss to the path in the lower left. A few minor scratches with associated losses are visible in the sky near the top edge. There is a light layer of surface dirt and accretions of dust to the impasto. Inspection under UV light does not reveal any obvious signs of retouching. Unframed.
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.
Acquired by the father of the present owner in Russia in the 1980s
In the first half of the 1970s Natalia Nesterova started experimenting with compositions which reinterpreted the official socialist-realist canon: heroic scenes of labour and idyllic scenes of leisure were transformed into surreal phantasmagoria and masquerades by the artist’s ironic brush. Images of Crimean, Caucasian and Baltic health resorts would become key subjects of these fantastical compositions, where episodes of banal resort life are permeated with a grotesque charm. Since the late 1970s, themes of the old city or park have prevailed in Nesterova's work, with passers-by visually assimilated with classical statues and the architecture and thus set apart from a homogeneous colourful crowd.
The monumental building in the present work depicts one of the oldest sanatoria in Matsesta – the largest balneological spa in Russia, located in the wider resort district of Sochi. Completed in 1924 Matsesta sanatorium would become popular among high-ranking state figures, including Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev, who would not only recommend it to their party associates, but also play an important role in its expansion into a resort of all-union significance.