VALENTIN ALEXANDROVICH SEROV (1865-1911) Diana, Eros, Apollo and Daphne, Venus. Project for the decoration of the dining room in V. Nosov's mansion, Moscow. 1911.
Project for the decoration of the dining room in V. Nosov's mansion, Moscow. 1911. Graphite, ink and watercolour on tracing paper.
Provenance: From a collection of Jurgis Baltrušaitis (1873–1944), a Lithuanian poet, and his wife Maria Ivanovna, born Olovišnikova (1878-1948)
The present sheet is a detailed design of the dining room of the Moscow mansion of the merchants Nosovs on Malaya Semyonovskaya Street (House 1). Old Believer merchant Vasily Dmitrievich Nosov (1848-1920) and his wife, Efimia Pavlovna (1881-1976), born Ryabushinskaya, a prominent Moscow patron of arts and collectors, commissioned a famous architect, Ivan Vasilievich Zholtovsky (1867-1959) to redesign the formal dining room of their mansion in 1910. V. Serov, who willingly undertook the work and executed several sketches of the decoration, was commissioned to paint the hall. The themes of these works were inspired by ancient mythology and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Unfortunately, the master's death left this project unfinished.
The presented drawing is a more elaborated version of the pencil sketch, which is kept in the State Tretyakov Gallery (Inventory No. 28404, ill.1). Creating his graphic sketches V. Serov often used semi-transparent paper (in this case - tracing paper), transferring the main elements of the previous composition and then refining it. Our sheet differs from the Tretyakov's composition with Venus in greater detail, and with the inclusion of architectural elements conceived by I. Zholtovsky (we can see a similar example in the watercolour sketch "Apollo and Diana" from the Tretyakov Gallery, ill.2), as well as a more thorough elaboration of the work in ink and watercolour.
Ill. 1. V.Serov. Diana, Eros, Apollo and Daphne, Venus. The State Tretyakov Gallery.
Ill. 2. V.Serov. Apollo and Diana, beating children Niobe. The State Tretyakov Gallery.
Ill. 3. V.Serov. Diana and Actaeon. The State Tretyakov Gallery.