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Ссылка на изображение: http://gallery.facets.ru/pic.php?id=3255&size=3
IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ART
06 JUNE 2011 | 7:00 PM BST
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, THE NETHERLANDS
Estimate 100,000 — 150,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 121,250 GBP
Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich
1874 - 1947
signed in Cyrillic l.r.; further signed and titled in Cyrillic on the reverse
tempera and chalk on paper laid on cardboard
47.5 by 47cm, 18 3/4 by 18 1/2 in.
Baltrushaitis et al., Rerikh. Petrograd: Svobodnoe Iskusstvo, 1916, p.215 listed under Finnish Sketches, 1907,the collection of A.A.Stabrovsky
F. Grant et al. Roerich, Himalaya, A Monograph, New York: Brentano's Publishers, 1926, p.189 titled The Duel and dated 1907
A.Ivanov, unpublished list of the artist's works: The Duel, Pastel. A.A.Stabrovsky. 1907, Castle and Knight
The Duel is a rare early work which reflects the importance of medieval Western culture in Roerich's understanding of antiquity, a key influence often eclipsed by his prolific Oriental-inspired output in maturity. The pre-history of Russia, from the Stone Age to the Varangians of the North were key strands of his oeuvre and were fuelled by his 1903 tour of ancient Russian towns, resulting in iconic pieces such as Slavs on the Dnieper (1905, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg).
Nonetheless Roerich was equally drawn by the medieval cities of Bruges, Siena, San Geminiano, which he visited in 1907; in the offered lot, the artist moves away from the motifs of northern Russian folk art – the circular shields of his pastel, The Duel (1902, The State Russian Museum, fig 1) for example, and towards an age of chivalry. The Duel is a superb example of the artist's reconstruction of the past, his 'light dream of valiant warriors' (Nicholas Roerich, Agni Publishing House, 2008, p.117), though as with The Dragon's Daughter (1906, The State Russian Museum), another romantic subject set against medieval walls and towers, there are elements of movement, drama and a martial spirit that offset the whimsical dimensions of 'the realm of Roerich', as the writer Leonid Andreev described it.
The flat, velvety surface of The Duel is characteristic of his work of this period, when he switched almost exclusively from oils to tempera and pastels. 'Tempera is unmatched by oil' wrote Roerich, 'Paint is fated to change – better to let paintings become dreams than black boots' (quoted in J.Decter, Nicholas Roerich, The Life and Art of A Russian Master, Thames and Hudson, 1989).
We are grateful to Gvido Trepša, Senior Researcher at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, for providing additional cataloguing information.
The Duel, 1902, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg