Portrait of Fedor Chaliapin in a stage costume, 1941 signed in Latin and dated '1941' (lower left) oil on canvas 68.7 x 56cm (27 1/16 x 22 1/16in).
PROVENANCE: Collection of Akim Tamiroff, friend of the artist Private collection of an opera singer, Los Angeles Acquired from above by a private collector, c. 1960 John Moran Auctioneers, Pasadena, April 27, 2010, lot 1166, erroneously identified as 'Portrait of Akim Tamiroff' Acquired by the present owner from above
According to Dr. Alla Rosenfeld, former Curator of Russian and Soviet Art at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, the portrait depicts Fedor Chaliapin, legendary Russian opera singer and the artist's farther in one of his stage roles. Chaliapin is dressed in a mediæval robe and depicted against the wall with an Orthodox icon or fresco. Fedor Chaliapin was well known for his brilliant portrait of Ivan the Terrible in Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's opera 'Pskovitianka' (The Maiden of Pskov), 1896, as well as Dosifei in Modest Musorgsky's opera Khovanschina, 1912 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Boris Chaliapin made numerous portraits and sketches of his father in stage costumes. The depicted historical character in the present painting closely resembles Fedor Chaliapin.