BORIS KUSTODIEV (1878-1927) The Village Fair

Lotto 62
200 000250 000
signed and dated in Cyrillic ‘Б. Кустодiевъ 1919’ (lower right) oil on cardboard 17.5 x 22 cm 1919 Provenance: Private collection, Europe; Private collection, London Certificate of Authenticity by Scientific and research independent expertise named after P.M. Tretyakov, Expert’s report ОЖ 4482, 08.02.2013 In 1919, when Boris Kustodiev was painting “The Village Fair”, he was confined to a wheelchair and was constantly in his studio. Nevertheless, it was during this period that he created some of his most life-affirming and joyful works. As Vsevolod Voinov writes in his 1925 monograph, «...perhaps more than any of his contemporaries, the artist, immobilized by illness and at times seriously suffering, was able to affirm health and a life full of happiness, abundance and vivacity. This sense of health and the unshakable fabric of life is so natural to the artist. He depicts it with such conviction that the viewer is fully imbued with it» (V. Voinov, B.M. Kustodiev, Leningrad: State Publishing House, 1925, p.35). “The Village Fair” is a miniature incarnation of Kustodiev’s artistic universe, bringing together some of his most famous and beloved motifs. The scene is bustling with life: while the village fair is in full swing, a group of women are bathing nearby and another group is enjoying a picnic under a tree. Small, charming details further enliven the scene: a dog in the center and a coachman swinging to avoid colliding with two young children on horseback in the foreground. Kustodiev’s skill is evident in the way he conveys the mood and the rapidly changing weather. Swirls of thunderclouds sweep past, while the sun has already come out and illuminates the tree crowns, the church dome and the bell tower, and this dramatic illumination that fills the sky symbolizes the triumph of life. All lots marked with the symbol "plus (+)" are under temporary importation and are subject to import tax (5.5%) (EU) and administrative customs broker fees.