Published: March 12, 2018
NEW YORK CITY — Russian art was hot off the block at Shapiro Auctions’ March 7 sale as a Philip Maliavin (Russian 1869–1940) oil on canvas painting titled “A Laughing Village Baba” more than tripled the $60,000 high estimate to bring $197,000, including buyer’s premium. The 45-7/8 by 40-1/8-inch painting exhibited an explosion of vibrant reds, yellows and oranges on the dress of a dancing and gleefully expressive peasant woman. Portraits of peasants were the subjects of one of Maliavin’s most notable series, stemming from his life as a youth in a small Russian village.
Russian artist Vladimir Makovsky, a contemporary of Maliavin, described Maliavin’s baba, saying, “[her] sarafan is like a red calico fire and whose sharp, blackish-blue shadow on her forehead, almost improbable shadow — one has to get used to it.”
Following up behind was a 1933 Konstantin Vyalov (Russian, 1900–1976) oil on canvas painting titled “Surami Pass,” which sold over high estimate to reach $104,550 including buyer’s premium. Vyalov was known for his large-scale industrial and naval paintings as well as posters and book illustrations. The image in “Surami Pass” featured a train traveling through the Russian countryside.
A full report will follow in a future issue.
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