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65

Konstantin Alexeevich Korovin

French Seaside Town in Summer

Estimate:

150,000 to - 220,000 GBP

Property from a Private Collection, France

Konstantin Alexeevich Korovin

Konstantin Alexeevich Korovin

French Seaside Town in Summer

French Seaside Town in Summer

Estimate:

150,000 to - 220,000 GBP

Property from a Private Collection, France

Konstantin Alexeevich Korovin

1861 - 1939

French Seaside Town in Summer


signed in Latin l.r.

oil on canvas

Canvas: 50 by 61cm, 19¾ by 24in.

Framed: 57 by 68cm, 22½ by 26¾in.


Original canvas which is very slightly buckling in places. There is scattered craquelure in places, including cracks to the thicker areas of impasto. Frame abrasions with minor associated paint loss are visible along the edges. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of retouching. Framed.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Acquired by the grandmother of the present owner in Normandy in the late 1930s

Views of seaside towns form an important part of Konstantin Korovin’s artistic legacy. The geography of these landscapes is varied, yet as a true impressionist painter he was first and foremost interested in the specifics and uniqueness of the light and colours of the places where he worked. He was eager to capture the distinctive atmosphere of each individual town. Korovin worked enthusiastically, capturing the picturesque scenes with ships stationed in the harbour, and the embankments filled with cafés and open market stalls, enlivened by colourful crowds.


Seeing Korovin appear at the shore with his easel would often cause great excitement among the locals, in particular the fishermen. The artist’s close friend Nadezhda Ivanovna Komarovskaya described one such occasion which took place in Villefranche-sur-Mer: ‘They surrounded Korovin and bombarded him with questions. When asked one such question about what he was planning to depict, the artist jokingly responded: ‘Most likely I will have to paint you, since you have blocked both the sea and the pier which I intended to paint.’ His answer caused roars of laughter and the crowd, albeit unwillingly, made way. When the charcoal outlines of the coastline and the sea appeared on the canvas, the fishermen grew agitated. They watched the process without interruption, and each brushstroke caused a strong reaction among them. Two-three hours later the painting was finished’ (N.Komarovskaya, O Konstantine Korovine, Leningrad: Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1961, p.93).


French Seaside Town in Summer is one of the finest landscapes created by Korovin in emigration. It is well-known that in 1922 the artist left Russia with his family and settled in Paris. Both due to his son’s illness and for work-related reasons Korovin often spent the summer months in the South of France. The present landscape is stylistically comparable to Pier in Gurzuf (1916) in the collection of the Vyatka Art Museum, and to Bridge in Saint-Cloud from 1936 in the State Tretyakov Gallery collection. These works share the overall principles of creating shapes and space and the way in which the architecture is rendered.


These canvases are created using vigorous, textural brushwork, which schematically conveys the painterly forms. The simplified approach to depicting figures with spots of colour is typical for Korovin’s work. During this period, he preferred working in bright, contrasting colours (blue, light-blue, green, red, orange, yellow and purple), when necessary creating complex mixtures and applying them in rhythmic, energetic strokes. Working in this particular manner the artist achieved a harmony of form, colour and light. French Seaside Town in Summer depicts one of Korovin’s favourite subjects while showcasing the full extent of his skill and virtuosity.


We are grateful to Yulia Chaikina, expert in Russian art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries for providing this catalogue note.