MacDougall's /May 27, 2012
€6,124.45 - €8,574.23
Artworks in Arcadja46
Some works of Mikhail Vasilievich NesterovExtracted between 46 works in the catalog of Arcadja
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Description Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942) The Artist's daughter Natalia as herdboy Oil on canvas Signed in Cyrillic lower right 90 x 58 cm (35 1/2 x 22 3/4 in) Provenance: Hampel Fine Art Auctions, Russian Art, 23rd March 2007, Lot 135, sold for Euro 150,000. Please not this lot is subject to Import VAT. Several minor holes to canvas needing repair, fine craqueleure, signs of retouching visible, areas od surface dirt, would benfit from a clean.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 26, 2012 - LondonLot number: 80
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Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942) Two Sisters signed in Cyrillic and dated 'Mikhail. Nesterov./1923.' (lower left) oil on canvas 26 x 40½ in. (66 x 102.9 cm.) Special Notice A grey and quiet day, the banks of the Volga, a forest can be seen in the distance, the Zavolzh'e, there is a small hermitage in the hills, two sisters are walking around the yard, they are blood sisters, but their souls are different, one has a joyful and carefree soul, the other's heart is gloomy, dark. Mikhail Nesterov to his friend Aleksandr Turygin on 11th February 1915 Writing to his friend in 1915, Nesterov traced the outline of a composition he developed into a series of exquisite canvasses over a period of ten years, including one example held in the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus. His choice of subject changed after the advent of the Soviet era, when Nesterov almost exclusively shifted away from spiritual themes to portraiture, a more suitable genre in the new political context. His earlier works, however, always maintained a great personal significance and the artist often returned to his pre-revolutionary compositions, which he often reworked for himself and a small circle of patrons, as was the case for this version of Two Sisters painted in 1923. The artist immerses the viewer into a lyrical landscape where the air is permeated with the anticipation of spring's arrival. The two sisters in the foreground are promenading peacefully along the banks of the river Volga. The sister on the left is walking pensively, her head lowered and covered in a black shawl. She appears lost in gloomy thoughts and does not seem to notice the awakening of nature all around her. The face of her sister, on the contrary, is lit by a joyful smile. She is dressed in a festive sarafan. She cheerfully raises her hand holding a bouquet of flowers to welcome the arrival of spring. With the sisters the artist presents the viewer with two different lives, whose destinies are growing apart. One of the sisters has failed to find happiness in the outside world and is seeking shelter in the solitude of a monastic hermitage. The other sister, by contrast, embodies the joy that can be achieved on earth. The juxtaposition of the two sisters' inner worlds is accentuated by the colouristic contrast between one sister's sombre black sarafan and the other's bright red garb. The melancholic figure of the sister dressed in black is a recurring motif in Nesterov's compositions. The figure of 'Nesterov's woman' was first introduced with The Bride of Christ (1886, private collection) and seems to have been shaped by the artist's own tragic experiences. His wife, Maria Martynovskaia, died whilst giving birth to their daughter. The event drastically altered the course of Nesterov's artistic development and spurred the shift in his artistic idiom from historical and genre paintings to what is now widely recognized as the 'Nesterov style'. The artist, who deeply suffered from the loss of his wife, often returned to the melancholic prototype already present in Two Sisters, which first appeared in his work The Bride of Christ. There, the figure in the foreground anticipates the sullen characters of his later paintings and bears a striking physical resemblance to Nesterov's late wife. The landscape in Two Sisters echoes Nesterov's recurring theme of the synergy between nature and human emotions as well as the celebration of Russia's geographical and architectural heritage. The emotional landscape of the pensive sister on the left is projected onto the nature around her. The delicate brushstrokes envelop the composition in a pale, translucent atmosphere that corresponds to her introverted character. Her meditative expression complements the flat, horizontal areas on the canvas where fields and water are captured in a rhythmical composition of parallel lines. In this painting, Nesterov skilfully extends the human soul into the world around it, while encompassing nature within the space of one being.
Auction: Christie's -May 28, 2012 - LondonLot number: 26
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Lot Description Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942) A quiet life signed in Cyrillic and dated 'Mikhail Nesterov/1921' (lower right) gouache on board 11¾ x 15¼ in. (30 x 38.2 cm.) Lot Condition Report I confirm that I have read this Important Notice and agree to its terms. View Condition Report Provenance Probably, Elena Katul'skaia (1888-1966), a popular Soviet singer and actress who was awarded the title of National Artist in 1965. Pre-Lot Text THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR Literature Probably, A. Mikhailov, Mikhail Vasil'evich Nesterov, Moscow, 1958, listed p. 482. View Lot Notes › While the title, date, subject matter, dimensions and provenance match the description listed in Mikhailov's 1958 monograph on the artist, there is a discrepancy with regards to the medium, which describes the work as being oil on canvas. The figure in the present work clearly relates to Nesterov's Flenushka (1920s, State Tretyakov Gallery). We are grateful to Pavel Klimov, Senior Curator at the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, for his assistance in cataloguing this work.
Auction: MacDougall's -May 27, 2012 - LondonLot number: 250
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NESTEROV, MIKHAIL (1862-1942) Sergius of Radonezh signed. Oil on canvasboard, 22 by 17.5 cm. Comment1 Provenance: Possibly acquired by the father of the previous owner in Russia, c. 1916–1917. Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov. The present lot appears to be a study for the left side of the triptych The Labours of Sergius of Radonezh , now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery.
Auction: MacDougall's -Dec 1, 2011 - LondonLot number: 10
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NESTEROV, MIKHAIL 1862-1942 The Nightingale is Singing , signed and dated 1918. Oil on canvas, 81 by 68.5 cm. Comment Provenance: Private collection, UK. Authenticity certificate from the expert V. Petrov. Related literature: For a later version of the same composition, see Russkaya dorevolyutsionnaya i sovetskaya zhivopis’’’’ v sobranii Natsional’’’’nogo khudozhestvennogo muzeya Respubliki Belarus’’’’ , Vol. 2, Minsk, Belarus, 1997, p. 178, No. 1189, illustrated. Mikhail Nesterov’’’’s The Nightingale is Singing is one of his earliest versions of the celebrated 1917 composition, of which the artist painted at least four. It is now impossible to establish what became of the 1917 original, which, according to contemporary sources, was a larger-scale work than the later versions. We know for certain that a picture of the same name was sold at the famous Russian Art Exhibition in America in 1924 (and it is possible that this and the present work are one and the same). Another version, painted in 1922, is in a private collection in Kiev and the 1929 work that concludes the series is in the collection of the National Art Museum of Belarus. The well-known avant-garde theatre director and theorist Nikolai Evreinov visited Nesterov’’’’s studio in the early 1920s and wrote that: “Among the versions of subjects that I knew well I found my eyes glued, so to speak, to the spellbinding work The Nightingale is Singing which Nesterov had painted in 1917. The subject is not complicated: in early summer, a young novice nun stands by a dreamy lake bordered by a beautiful forest and listens breathlessly to the song of Nature pouring forth in the nightingale’’ ’’s trilling; and on her lips, which have vowed never to know a sinful kiss, is a smile — such a sad smile, so understandable, so human!” The story of how this subject arose is closely linked to Nesterov’’’’ s cycle of works dedicated to nuns, the “brides of Christ”, which he created over twenty long and extremely fruitful years. He conceived The Bride of Christ as a memorial to his beloved wife who had died unexpectedly. He first painted a large study of a girl lost in thought, in a dark dress with a little stalk of grass in her teeth and “with the face of my Masha”. In the words of one who had seen this now-lost work, “you could stand before this pensive girl for a good while and ponder for hours that mystery of life that she too is pondering. And in those thoughtful eyes there was so much that was familiar and close to us, such a revelation of the deepest recesses of the female soul that, looking into them, you could not help but recall the similar pensive heroines of Melnikov-Pechersky, his Flenushka and others, and the whole of our native Rus and its God-seeking people.” “With this picture” said Nesterov later, “I had reached a turning point and something had appeared that would later grow more consistent, something well-defined, which gave me my ‘persona’’’’... My love for Masha and my losing her made me into an artist, brought to my art what had been missing: emotion and a living soul — in a word, everything that people would later come to value and still value in my art.” And indeed, The Bride of Christ immediately attracted serious critical attention. With this work, the artist’’’’s destiny was decided. Continuing his initial theme, between the 1890s and 1910s Nesterov painted a whole story in pictures dedicated to the fate of the innocent girl, partly serving to develop the theme of his own sweet melancholy and partly inspired by Pavel Melnikov-Pechersky’’’’s twin works In the Woods and In the Highlands . However, according to the celebrated writer and close friend of the artist S.N. Durylin, it was The Nightingale is Singing that “became one of the most poetic versions of Nesterov’’’’s theme of the fate of the Russian woman. Again we have a bride of Christ, but this time the artist brings her outside the convent walls one peaceful May evening to the edge of the forest, basking in the fragrant warmth of spring, while the nightingale’’’’s song of love and paean to springtime makes her forget for a moment all her vows to obey, to pray and to ‘withdraw from the world’’’’… We cannot see the nightingale in the picture, but we hear its song in the fragrant stillness of that spring evening, a stillness that seems to hear and respond, and the subject of the song is clear: youth, happiness and love.” Indeed, in the delicately observed motif of the nightingale’’’’s song, which seems to come from beyond the bounds of the picture, a theme resonates which was of great significance in Nesterov’’’’s work — the theme of music bringing man and nature into harmony. As we look at this picture, we are reminded of what Vasily Rozanov said of Nesterov in 1907, in connection with the gloomy and oppressive state of Itinerant painting, and his words seem prophetic: “Then, like the resonant song of the skylark from a warm, blue sky, we heard the music and the musicality of Vasnetsov and Nesterov. ‘To the sky! To the sky!’’’’ And we all looked to the sky. That is why we love them!”