Yuri Pavolovich Annenkov (1889-1974) Portrait of Daniel Geccen 44.5 x 37.7 cm. (17 1/2 x 14 5/8 in.)
Lot 19
Yuri Pavolovich Annenkov (1889-1974) Portrait of Daniel Geccen 44.5 x 37.7 cm. (17 1/2 x 14 5/8 in.)
Sold for £33,460 (US$ 56,182) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Yuri Pavolovich Annenkov (1889-1974)
Portrait of Daniel Geccen
signed in cyrillic and dated 1922 (upper right) and inscribed by the sitter '1924 9 October - 29 March To my baby friend - my wife, memory about her I will carry through all of my life, let my love and her love never touched by course of time. Yours Dan...' verso
watercolour with pen and ink
44.5 x 37.7 cm. (17 1/2 x 14 5/8 in.)


  • Provenance:
    A.J.Polonsky, Paris.
    Private collection, U.K. (acquired from the above in 1988).

    In 1905, during the first Russian uprising, Yuri Annenkov was expelled from his lycee for having taken part in the publication of an underground magazine. Annenkov’s subsequent career in the arts never revealed the same rebellious nature that had cost the young sixteen year old the completion of his school education. Born into an old family of noble descent in Petropavlovsk, near the Sea of Japan, Annenkov was formally trained as an artist at the St. Petersburg University, where he studied under the direction of Savelli Zaideberg, from 1908 to 1909, and under Yan Tsionglinsky, from 1909 to 1911. He left Russia in 1911, and went to Paris. There, he enrolled at the Ecole des beaux-arts, where he met many of his compatriots (Marc Chagall and Ossip Zadkine, among others). He also entered the studio of Maurice Denis and Felix Valloton. In 1913, he moved to Switzerland and began working as an illustrator for magazines. Soon, however, he returned to his homeland, where he continued to illustrate for texts (1913-1917). During these years, Annenkov confirmed his personal style and became an active member of the contemporary movement. Although his style was profoundly rooted in the Constructivist forms of his time, Annenkov managed to create a most personal stylistic interpretation. From painting to graphic arts, from theatre designs to film sets (later in his career), Annenkov spread himself confidently, adapting his style and technique to the genre and medium required. He contributed regularly to the journal Teatr I iskuustvo (‘Theatre and Art’) while working for a wide range of different other magazine publishings. Annenkov gained greater notoriety when he illustrated Aleksandre Blok’s revolutionary poem Dvenadtsat (‘The Twelve’). Here, Annenkov adapted his constructivist style to the emotional tension of the narrative in a most creative series of illustrations. In 1920, he joined Mstislav Dohuzhinsky and Vladimir Shchuko in preparing the sets for the spectacular mass performances in Petrograd of Hymn to Liberated Labor and Storming of the Winter Palace. It was at about this time that Annenkov turned himself more seriously to portrait painting. Some of the most renown politicians and artists of his time had their portrait executed: Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotski, G. Zinoviev, A. Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Alexander Benois, to name but a few. In 1924, Annenkov immigrated to Paris. He pursued his work as a book illustrator as well as a set designer for the theatre and cinema until his death in 1974. The present painting was executed the year Annenkov moved to Paris.