NIKOLAI PETROVICH BOGDANOV-BELSKY | NEW SONGS
Property from a Private Collection, Norway
NIKOLAI PETROVICH BOGDANOV-BELSKY
signed in Cyrillic l.r.; further bearing a Copenhagen exhibition label on the reverse
oil on canvas
Canvas: 80.5 by 101.5cm, 31¾ by 40in.
Framed: 99.5 by 122.5cm, 39¼ by 48¼in.
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Original canvas, which is buckling slightly along the top right edge and in the area of the sheet music and table in the lower left quadrant. There is a small area of paint loss to the background in the lower right, and another very small loss just above the left hand of the boy playing the balalaika. A couple of tiny flecks of paint loss are visible on the arm of the child on the far left, and there are abrasions with minor associated paint loss along the edges. There are a few isolated areas of fine craquelure and paint shrinkage to the lampshade and to the yellow impasto of the sheet music behind the lamp. The surface is covered in a light layer of dirt and the varnish has discoloured. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of retouching. 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.
Exhibition catalogue Russisk Maleriudstilling, Copenhagen: Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, 1929, no.25 listed
Copenhagen, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Russisk Maleriudstilling, 7-20 February 1929, no.25
Celebrated for his genre paintings depicting village children, Bogdanov-Belsky fled Soviet Russia and settled in Riga in 1921 where he remained until the Soviet occupation. He exhibited widely in Europe in the 1920s and the present lot was shown at an important exhibition of Russian art held at the Free Art Exhibitions Agency in Copenhagen in 1929 alongside works by other émigré Russian artists including Alexander Benois, Boris Grigoriev, Konstantin Somov and Alexander Yakovlev.
In Russia Bogdanov-Belsky had been a member of the Itinerants whose paintings often carried a social or moral message and he frequently depicted children either hard at study or practising traditional folk instruments, as in the present lot.