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Details & Cataloguing

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books

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Londres

Gorky, Maxim
A PHOTOGRAPH OF GORKY SIGNED AND INSCRIBED TO THE DOCTOR ALEXANDRA YULIANOVA KANEL, 20 AUGUST 1929
224 x 169mm., the portrait photograph shows Gorky's head and shoulders in front of a dark indistinct background and is inscribed in Russian on the mount in brown ink Александре Юлиановне Канель С глубокой благодарностью, искренней симпатией 20. VIII. 29 М. Горький ("To Alexandra Yurievna Kanel with gratitude and sincere sympathy | 20. VIII. 29 | M. Gorkiy"), the mount is also signed in pencil by the photographer, some browning to mount
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Provenance

Alexandra Yurievna Kanel, thence by descent to the present owner

Description

This photograph and its inscription shed light on the terror in Stalinist Russia in the 1930s. It was given by Gorky to Alexandra Yulianova Kanel, who was chief doctor at the Kremlin Hospital, as a gift for having treated him. In 1932 Kanel famously refused to sign a false medical report stating that Stalin's young wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva had died from appendicitis (see lot 173 for a group of letters by their daughter). It is assumed that after a public argument at a party dinner, Alliluyeva commited suicide in her bedroom. Kanel who had treated Alliluyeva for years was subsequently dismissed in 1935 and died in 1936, the same year that Gorky died under unexplained circumstances.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books

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Londres