It is believed the offered lot was commissioned by Tiomkin from Annenkov in 1969 for $1,000 and is listed in a document confirming details of a cheque sent to the artist in Paris. The work was destined to be shipped directly to London. (I.Obuchowa-Zelinska, "Ty ne predstavlyaesh', kak mne tebya zdes' ne khvataet...": Dmitri Temkin i Yurii Annenkov - neskol'ko epizodov 60-letnej druzhby' in E.Zaltsberg (Ed.), Russkie evrei v Amerike, vol.4, 2010, pp.232-256).
After studying in St. Petersburg with Marc Chagall, Yuri Annenkov moved to Paris, where he worked with the French Les Nabis artists Maurice Denis and Felix Valloton. Inspired by this avant-garde group, Annenkov began experimenting in a wide variety of mediums, producing book illustrations, stage and screen designs and oil paintings. He moved to Paris permanently in 1924 and aligned himself with the School of Paris.
Midnight in Paris was most likely inspired by Annenkov's experiments with unconventional treatments of space, texture and perspective. Areas of collage and assemblage reference the artist’s earlier series of Dada-inspired abstract pieces (1919-1920), and Annenkov returned to this media throughout his career. Extraordinary in size, Midnight in Paris emotes an atmosphere of mystery, intensified by the rich, dark colour palette and variety of texture.