Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (Russian, 1839-1915) Portrait of Olga, the artist's daughter
Lot 10*
Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky
(Russian, 1839-1915)
Portrait of Olga, the artist's daughter
Sold for £242,500 (US$ 390,895) inc. premium

Lot Details
Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (Russian, 1839-1915) Portrait of Olga, the artist's daughter Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (Russian, 1839-1915) Portrait of Olga, the artist's daughter
Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (Russian, 1839-1915)
Portrait of Olga, the artist's daughter
signed in Latin (lower right), stretcher inscribed in Cyrillic 'Olga in white dress' with additional inscriptions, partial paper labels, stretcher and canvas marked with artists' studio stamp in Paris
oil on canvas
152 x 88 1/2cm (59 13/16 x 34 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Property of Mme. Marina Flamant, Paris, granddaughter of the artist
    19th Century European Paintings, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 20-21 January 1978, lot 100
    Pierre Antiques, Seattle, Washington
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, c. 1980

    EXHIBITED
    Moscow and St. Petersburg, XVII Exhibitions of St. Petersburg Art Society, 1909, cat. 166

    LITERATURE
    Iskra, 1909, issue 9, page 72
    Iskorka, 1910, issue 49, page 6
    To be included in the forthcoming publication, Elena Nesterova, Konstantin Makovsky, St. Petersburg, 2013, p.484, fig.278

    Portraiture was one of the most significant genres of painting in the oeuvre of Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (1839-1915). The artist's son, Sergei Konstantinovich, a well-known art critic of the Silver Age noted that his father painted more portraits during his lifetime than 'Kramskiy, Repin, and Serov all put together'. Makovsky's female portraits were particularly remarkable. For the most part, these consisted of formal depictions of society belles, where the elaborate gowns and accessories 'competed' with the exquisite beauty of the women themselves.

    Konstantin Makovsky frequently painted children, often his own. Sergei and Yelena, Makovsky's children from his marriage to U.P Makovskaya (née Letkova), often appeared as the subjects of his portraits. Konstantin, Olga and Marina, his children from his marriage to M.A. Matavtina (1869-1919), who were born out of wedlock before Makovsky's divorce from his previous wife and were legitimized in 1898, also often became the subjects of his works.

    Similarly to her other family members, Olga Makovkskaya (born 1893) was gifted, especially in music and fine art. A capable artist in her own right, Olga married Sergei Agababov, an opera singer and painter, who eventually went on to become a member of the École de Paris, signing his works with the pseudonym 'Serge Sédrac.'

    After K. Makovsky's death and the revolution that followed shortly thereafter, the painter's atelier was nationalized, and his works were relocated to the studio of Sergei Agababov. In August 1925, Olga wrote a letter to the Special Committee on the Organization of International Exhibitions, requesting permission to organize an exhibit of her father's remaining work (comprising 40 paintings, primarily family portraits) in the United States, to where the family immigrated a year later.

    Evidently, Makovsky painted the portrait of his daughter Olga around 1909, in anticipation of her coming of age as a young lady in St. Petersburg society on her sixteenth birthday. Dressed in an elaborate white dress, accentuated with chrysanthemums at the waist, Olga appears especially delicate and fragile. With the exceptional virtuosity typical of this recognized master of the genre, and with the poignant warmth of a loving father, Makovsky skilfully depicted the beauty of a young adolescent girl on the brink of adulthood. The young beauty's voluminous hair, luminous eyes, so calmly and confidently focused on the viewer, dainty nose and delicate mouth, make her face particularly attractive. While the palette is relatively restrained, a certain pearlescent quality and luminescence, along with a remarkable richness of tone, render the colouring of this portrait particularly distinguishable. In this extraordinary portrait, Makovsky was able simultaneously to demonstrate both his love for his daughter, and his own artistic talent.

    In 1909, Olga's portrait featured at the XVII exhibition of the St. Petersburg Artists Society in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and was included in the corresponding exhibition catalogue as number 166. The portrait was also often reproduced in print over the course of Makovsky's life: in the magazine Iskri in 1909 (No. 9, p.72) among other works that constituted the Moscow exhibition of the St. Petersburg Artist Society, and Iskorki in 1910 (no. 49, p. 6).

    We are grateful to Dr. Elena Nesterova, leading scholar and expert on the artist, for her assistance in cataloguing the present lot.

    Портретный жанр был одним из наиболее значимых в творчестве Константина Егоровича Маковского (1839-1915). Сын живописца Сергей Константинович Маковский, известный художественный критик «серебряного века», считал, что в наследии отца портретов «...очень много, больше, чем у Крамского, Репина, Серова взятых вместе...». А женские образы составляли самую эффектную часть его портретных произведений. Это, в основном, парадные портреты светских красавиц, где роскошные платья и аксессуары «спорят» с изящнейшей внешностью героинь.

    Часто писал Константин Маковский и детские портреты. В первую очередь своих собственных детей от брака с Ю.П. Маковской (в девичестве Летковой) - Сергея и Елену, а в конце 1890-х –1900-х годах его моделями становятся дети, рожденные от М.А.Матавтиной (1869-1919). Еще до развода с Ю.П.Маковской родились Константин, Ольга и Марина, которые после брака родителей в 1898 году были узаконены.

    Как и все члены этого талантливого семейства Ольга Маковская (1893 - ?) была одарена многими способностями. Музыка и живопись всегда были приоритетными в ее окружении. Она сама неплохо рисовала и вышла замуж за Сергея Агабабова – оперного певца и живописца, ставшего впоследствии представителем парижской школы живописи, подписывавшего свои пейзажи псевдонимом Серж Седрак.

    После смерти К.Маковского и случившейся вскоре революции мастерская известного художника была национализирована, а хранившиеся там произведения были вывезены в мастерскую Сергея Агабабова. В августе 1925 года Ольга писала в Особый комитет по устройству заграничных выставок с просьбой разрешить выставку оставшихся произведений отца (40 полотен, значительную часть которых составляли семейные портреты) в Соединенных Штатах Америки. В 1926 году семья эмигрировала.
    Портрет Ольги Маковской, вероятно, был написан к шестнадцатилетию дочери, около 1909 года. Девушка в эффектном белом платье с хризантемами у пояса кажется особенно хрупкой и изящной. С привычной для художника виртуозностью и с особенной теплотой написана эта, вступающая во взрослую жизнь, молодая красавица. Густые волосы, большие лучистые глаза, спокойно и внимательно устремленные на зрителя, изящный нос и маленький рот – черты ее лица необыкновенно привлекательны. Палитра художника достаточно сдержанна, но некая перламутровость, серебристость, жемчужность становятся отличительными особенностями колорита этого портрета. Константин Маковский продемонстрировал здесь и свою любовь к дочери, и свои выдающиеся живописные способности.

    В 1909 году портрет дочери художника был показан на XVII выставке Санкт-Петербургского общества художников в Москве и Петербурге и включен в каталог под номером 166. Он неоднократно воспроизводился в печати еще при жизни Константина Маковского: в журнале «Искры» 1909 (№9, стр.72) в числе прочих произведений, демонстрировавшихся на московской выставке Санкт-Петербургского общества художников, и «Искорки» в 1910 (№49, стр.6).

    Мы благодарны Елене Нестеровой за предоставленные материалы и статью для данного каталога.
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