Alexei Vladimirovich Isupov (Issupoff, Alessio) (Russian, 1889-1957) The bazaar in Samarkand

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Lot 26*
Alexei Vladimirovich Isupov
(Issupoff, Alessio) (Russian, 1889-1957)
The bazaar in Samarkand

Sold for £ 30,000 (US$ 39,089) inc. premium
Alexei Vladimirovich Isupov (Issupoff, Alessio) (Russian, 1889-1957)
The bazaar in Samarkand
signed and inscribed in Cyrillic 'Samarkand' and dated '1923'
oil on board
71 x 77.5cm (27 15/16 x 30 1/2in).

Footnotes

  • Alexei Isupov spent eight years in Uzbekistan from 1915 to 1923, where he taught at the Turkestan regional art school (1918-1920) and worked in Samarkand on numerous restoration projects. His Turkestan works were exhibited in many exhibitions in Moscow. In 1924, eleven works by Isupov were exhibited in New York at the Exhibition of Russian Art, a huge success for the artist, with all the works selling. The artist used the money for a trip to Italy, where, from 1926, he lived permanently. Although mainly painting portraits, the landscapes which he completed in Italy were predominantly done either from memory or by using the sketches which he brought with him when he left Russia.

    In the works from the Turkestan series (mainly landscapes and genre paintings) the artist depicts the life and customs of the people of Central Asia, using the artistic traditions of the Italian Trecento, old Russian icon painting and Persian and Mongolian miniatures of the 15th and 16th centuries. In these works, Isupov emerges as a sensitive observer of the customs and national characteristics of the Uzbeks, Kyrgyzs, Turkmens and Tadzhiks, and as someone familiar with the artistic heritage of both Europe and Central Asia.

    In 1929, the State Publishing House in Moscow published a series of colour postcards entitled ‘Turkestan in the paintings of A. Isupov’. One of the images in this series is very similar compositionally to the offered lot (fig.1). Through a detailed comparison of the published version with the present lot, it becomes apparent that the composition in the postcard is more general and sketchy: the figures, shadows and the overall spatial arrangement are looser. The present lot is a more elaborate version of the same composition: it is more complete and ‘finished’, with the addition of many details that enrich the painterly quality of the composition.

    Il'dar Galeyev
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