Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Bel'sky (Russian, 1868-1945)
Best friends signed in Cyrillic (lower right) oil on canvas 72 x 58.5cm (28 3/8 x 23 1/16in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired in Moscow on 1 December, 1934 at Antikvariat store by Israel Wolynski Thence by descent to the present owner
I have always had children alongside me, I have devoted, and indeed still devote my life to them. [Nikolai Bogdanov-Bel'sky]
Bogdanov-Bel'sky's uvre can be said to be primarily preoccupied with the theme of childhood. The artist painted the life of young peasant children in different forms throughout his artistic life, from his early works, which exhibit a strong interest in the sociological conditions of rural childhood (At the doors of the school, 1897, Russian Museum) to his plein air works which depict both the joyful and everyday pursuits of youth. Best friends is a fine example of Bogdanov-Bel'sky's delight in, and affinity for, the young.