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Russian Auctions Week in London

23/11/2016 00:00

Russian Auctions Week in London

Konchalovsky Petr Petrovich

"Oak Trees"

Material:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:84 x 74cm

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"Oak Trees" belongs to a series of famous Abramtsevo landscapes painted by Petr Konchalovsky in 1920–1921. The circumstances of the time and the poverty of the post-revolutionary period made it almost impossible for Konchalovksy to work in his studio during winter. The summer months spent in Abramtsevo provided a real escape for the artist. Here, in the former estate of the Mamontov family, Konchalovsky found the inspiration that he had long sought — the famous oak grove. He was the first out of many artists painting at Abramtsevo in the beginning of the 20th Century, to discover the place. Huge, magnificent oaks grew freely, yet creating an impression of being in elegant architectural groups. Almost everything that Konchalovsky painted over the two summers of 1920–1921 focused on “group portraits” of oak trees. The huge trees were painted in a powerful manner, to show their mighty girth of the trunks, and ехpressive gesticulation of the brunches, enwraped in luxurious  blue and green foliage. А Moscow exhibition of Barbizon painters in autumn 1920 had a significant impact on Konchalovsky. Whilst under impression of what he had seen at the exhibition, Konchalovsky returned to Abramtsevo in the following summer to continue his explorations. The artist enthusiastically painted the oaks again and again, eventually finding an ideal way for expressing such an 'textured' scene - creating paintings, which were small in size, but monumental in spirit. "Oak Trees" presented here, is an excellent example of a small Abramtsevo painting, which precisely captures the spatial relationship between the near and the far tree trunks. According to the well-respected art historian Pavel Muratov, "these small Abramtsevo paintings are undoubtedly among the best that Konchalovsky ever did.”

Signed in Latin letters, dated and numbered on the reverse “1921 Kontchalovsky 384”

Provenance: Acquired by the present owner from Margo Baratova, the granddaughter of the artist.

Published: Konchalovsky. Creative Heritage (Konchalovsky. Khudezhvestnoe Nasledie). Moscow, Iskusstvo,1964.

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