Sœurs de charité (Sisters of Charity) 1884

Lot 38
40 00050 000
Oil on canvas signed and dated '1884' (lower left) 77 x 100 cm painted in 1884 Provenience: private collection, Monaco Literature: Work published in the 25th anniversary album of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions 1872-1897. Russian realistic painter born in St. Petersburg, son and pupil of the famous sculptor Peter Klodt. He studied at Imperial Academy of Arts from 1852 and perfected in Paris from 1857 to 1860. In his paintings, he describes complex and sometimes tragic life situations with a meticulous attention to detail and a predominance of warm tones, ochre, brown and red. Probably because of both the death of his wife and the abandonment of his family, his paintings emanate a sense of despair, sadness and sorrow. This painting is part of a series of three canvases painted by Klodt at the command of the Community of «Soeurs de charité « to illustrate the death of a soldier. On the canvas, the sister holds a candle and a book in her hands and, taking the place of a deacon, she reads the mortuary text with the priest. The scene is set in the tent of the deceased soldier. Klodt had neither been to war nor actually participated in this scene, but his overflowing sensitivity and the harsh events in his personal life transcend him and give this work its tragic feature.