‘Art Russie et Caucasien’ is a forthcoming sale at Leclere in Paris at the beginning of November.

One of the earliest paintings of the auction is a portrait of Maria Feodorovna (née Sophie Dorothea of ​​Württemberg), whose husband, Paul I of Russia, ascended to the throne in 1796. The portrait shows her as a crown princess at the age of 18 years.

It was executed by the workshop of the Swedish painter Alexander Rosalien, who was a popular portraitist in the late 18th century and lived mainly in Paris and was influenced by the local art scene. His portraits were mainly known for the excellent reproduction of fabrics.

In the mid-1770s he visited his homeland and then lived in Russia from 1775-77, where he painted the members of the local nobility and the tsar's family.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian art scene, as well as those in Paris and Vienna, was seized by a wave of avant-garde that broke with all classical art and paved the way for modernity. Based on the foundations of futurism and cubism, styles such as neo-primitivism, cubofuturism or suprematism, which were often pursued for only a few years, were created in Russia. One of the main representatives of these experimental styles was Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935), whose students from 1919 included Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin.

Suetin, who is represented in the auction with the work Dynamics of Balance, became a major proponent of suprematism developed by Malevich, a consistently non-objective art that rejected any kind of abstraction. Suetin was co-founder of the artist group UNOWIS, which had considerable influence on Russian modernism, and also works as a porcelain painter. As such, in 1925 he participated in some of the works of the ‘Exposition des internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels moderne’ in Paris, the exhibition that gave Art Deco its name.

A contemporary of Suetin, who also worked as a painter and graphic artist, was David Petrovich Shterenberg. Shterenberg came from a Ukrainian Jewish family. After studying painting in Odessa, he moved to Paris in 1906 where he discovered cubism and finally pursued a non-objective style.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he returned to Russia where his art was well-received. Through contacts he became co-worker and leader in various art commissions and institutions. But the taste of the new Soviet government changed with time, and from the 1930s Shterenberg was forced to paint in a more realistic style. His abstract works disappeared from the museums.

The auction, which will feature paintings, Russian furniture, icons, wooden boxes and the coveted Russian silver crafts, will be held on 6 November in Paris. There you can see all 289 lots.

Discover all lots from Leclere directly on Barnebys

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