HANZEN Alexey Vasilievich (1876–1937) Seascape. Second quarter of the XX century. Canvas, oil. 71.2 × 100.2
A gigantic meter canvas. Alexey Hanzen. The first thing that people usually remember about him is that he is the grandson of Aivazovsky. By the way, as many as three of Aivazovsky's grandsons became artists, moreover, successful. It is usually added that Hanzen himself studied with the great marine painter. Not without that. By time and age it converges. When Aivazovsky died, Hanzen was already over 40 years old — they had a lot of opportunities to communicate. There is evidence that as a child, Hanzen often visited his grandfather's workshop in Feodosia and enjoyed his work on scenes of sea battles and seascapes. Nevertheless, Hanzen received his professional art education not in Feodosia, but in Germany and France. By the way, by his first education, Hanzen was a lawyer. Like Kandinsky, like Sinezubov. But he chose art. And he did the right thing. Already in 1903–1907, Hanzen's works won prizes and awards at the European Salons in Berlin and Paris. In Russia, the artist became a member of the Society of Russian Watercolors and the Association of Artists. He worked as an official artist of the Maritime Ministry of Russia. In his works, unlike his grandfather, he avoided tragic subjects. He had a cycle of paintings on the theme of the Russian-Japanese war, but this is an exception. His paintings often breathe calmness, pacification, even some kind of imposingness. In his mature years, Hanzen himself became a collector and gallery owner. In 1920 he emigrated to Croatia. There he and his wife Olympiada settled in present-day Dubrovnik in their villa on the shore of the bay. The artist named the villa in honor of his wife — “Olympia”. He died in that villa in 1937.
At the peak of prices until 2014, Hanzen's large works at first-class foreign auctions of the level of Sotheby's and Christie's cost in the region of $ 50,000–60,000. Our seascape is accompanied by an expert opinion of the All-Russian Art Scientific Restoration Center named after Academician I. E. Grabar from 2020. Expert: N. S. Ignatova
WESTCHILOFF Constantin Alexandrovich (1878–1945) Corse. 1920s. Oil on cardboard. 33 × 41
The expert opinion was issued by the Repin Center for Artistic Expertise. Which is very symbolic. After all, Constantin Westchiloff was just one of Repin's favorite students, he studied with him at the St. Petersburg Academy. Westchiloff, like Hanzen, loved and masterly painted the sea. Like Hanzen, he served in the Naval Department. Received instructions from the Naval Ministry after the tragic death of Vereshchagin (the author of “The Apotheosis of War” was on board the battleship “Petropavlovsk” that blew up the Japanese mine). In the 1920s, Constantin Westchiloff emigrated from Russia and settled in France. On the back of our picture (and it is not hidden, it can be seen under glass), apparently, is written his Paris address of that time. In 1935 Westchiloff moved to the USA, where he spent the last 10 years of his life. He died in New York. The auction record for Westchiloff’s creativity belongs to the painting “Afternoon sun. Crimea”. In 2011, at Sotheby's, that lot was sold for $ 122,000.
POZHIDAEV Grigory Anatolievich (1894–1971) Alley illuminated by the sun. Mid XX century. Oil on cardboard. 24.2 × 32.5
At the bottom left is the signature of Georges A de Pogédaïeff. Why Georges, that is, George, if he is Grigory? And why Pogédaïeff, if he is Pozhidaev? The confusion with names is easy to explain. For France, the artist chose phonetics more familiar to the French. So do not hesitate: Grigory Pozhidaev and Georges Pogédaïeff are one and the same person.
Grigory Pozhidaev was born in Yalta, studied in Moscow, at the school of sculpture, painting and architecture. He received his first fame as an artist of the theatrical avant-garde. Since 1916, he worked on Kasyan Goleizovsky's ballets: “The Mask of the Red Death”, “The Harlequinade” and others. Art connoisseurs appreciate his defiant sketches for theatrical costumes, where eroticism, aggression, and much more are mixed.
But here Pozhidaev is no longer rebellious, but calm, French. The artist emigrated almost simultaneously with Hanzen and Westchiloff in 1921. He worked in the Czech Republic, in Berlin, then in France. At first he worked as a theater artist. But in the late 1930s he focused on easel painting and book illustration. Pozhidaev illustrated Lermontov, Blok, Chekhov. He released several bibliophile books of the artist with his pastels and other illustrations. In 1947–1950 he published, with his own money, a print run of 199 copies of four volumes of the self-illustrated Apocalypse. Pozhidaev died in Provence in 1971. The authenticity of our French landscape is confirmed by the expert opinion of Yulia Rybakova in 2020.
ZOMMER Richard-Karl Karlovich (1866–1939) Street in old Samarkand. Late 1900s — 1910s. Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard. 24 × 32.7
Richard Zommer was born on the territory of Austria-Hungary, but his life and career is connected with the Russian Empire. He received his art education at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. He was in good standing and was awarded medals.
By the end of the 1890s, Zommer began his long-term creative journey across Central Asia. The works written there, he showed at the exhibitions of the Society of Russian Watercolors and the St. Petersburg Society of Artists. As in the case of Vereshchagin, Zommer's paintings value, among other things, the accuracy of the details of oriental life, immersion in the atmosphere, ethnographic accuracy of the depiction of national costumes, architecture, etc. Unlike the artists listed above, Zommer did not emigrate after the revolution, but remained to live on the outskirts the former empire. It is believed that he died in Turkestan in 1939.
Auction record for Zommer — $ 140,000, Sotheby's, 2010.
So before us is an exemplary Zommer. Correct on the topic. With the expertise of 2014 from the Repin Center for Art Expertise.
BRITOV Kim Nikolaevich (1925–2010) Saturday. 1992. Oil on cardboard. 50 × 95
There is such a well-established expression “Britov GOST” (All-Union State Standard). And just one of the pictures, made according to the strong Britov GOST, is right in front of us. Kim Britov is the main and most expensive artist of the Vladimir school, which loudly declared itself in the 1960s and gave such names as Kokurin and Yukin. Britov himself is the son of the repressed. He volunteered for the war, was a scout, was awarded the medal “For Courage”. After being seriously wounded in his right arm, he hardly mastered the profession of an artist. The art school at the House of Folk Art in Vladimir became his “universities”. Fame came to him in 1960 after the exhibition “Soviet Russia”.
The artists of Vladimir were loved and hated. They were heavily criticized in the Soviet press for lack of ideology. Britov was threatened with expulsion from the Union of Artists. But at the same time, the exhibition opportunities for the artists of Vladimir were not completely blocked, as they were for the Moscow nonconformists.
The painting “Saturday” is a masterpiece of the Vladimir school. Due to its large size, it will become a decoration for both new and already formed collections.
SILIS Nikolay Andreevich (1928–2018) Bitch. 1996. Bronze. 16 × 38 × 12
I remember the phrase in his autobiography: “I graduated from an eight-year program, but I didn’t know anything about sculpture, except that a person consists of meat, bones and meanness”. But he was in the heat of the moment. Feeling youthful. From the mature series of Silis, it is obvious that a person consists of passions, wisdom, strength.
Nikolay Silis is a sculptor of the sixties, a member of the LeSS avant-garde group (Lemport-Silis-Sidur), one of the main innovators in post-war unofficial art.
And today we have just a thermonuclear thing. It's called “Bitch”. Half-female, half-werewolf. Metaphor in bronze. Brand SiLiS. Charged, powerful, 100% recognizable. And expensive.