Nikolai Avenirovich Shabunin (Russian, 1866-1907) 'After reaping'

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Lot 9W
Nikolai Avenirovich Shabunin
(Russian, 1866-1907)
'After reaping'

£ 40,000 - 60,000
US$ 54,000 - 82,000
Nikolai Avenirovich Shabunin (Russian, 1866-1907)
'After reaping'
signed in Cyrillic and dated '1904' (lower left), with the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum label (on verso)
oil on canvas
250 x 138.5cm (98 7/16 x 54 1/2in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    St. Louis, World's Fair, Louisiana Purchase Exposition,1904
    Acquired by Frank C. Havens, 1912
    M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco (bequeathed by the above, 1918)
    Sale, Clars Auction Gallery, Oakland, 16 November 2014, lot 6262A
    Acquired at the above by the present owner

    Exhibited
    St. Louis, World's Fair, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904, no. 240.

    Literature
    Official Catalogue of Exhibits, Department of Art, Universal Exposition, St. Louis, 1904, no. 240, p. 285.

    The present work, After Reaping, was executed by the gifted young artist Nikolai Avenirovich Shabunin, a student of Ilya Repin. A photographer and avid collector of ethnographic and religious artefacts, Shabunin lived in St. Petersburg but regularly travelled to the Russian North. During his travels, he produced various sketches and drawings of what interested and inspired him, which he then would rework on canvas in his studio. Captivated by the simple and demanding life of the Northern Russians, he attempted to convey and preserve their traditions and customs through his paintings. After Reaping is one of such paintings, born out of the artist's travels and musings.

    The work was itself destined for travel, becoming a part of the so-called Lost Russian Collection. In 1904, a collection of works by Russian painters, including I. Repin, N. Roerich, I. Goriushkin-Sorokopudov, V. E. Makovski, N. Dubovskoi and N. Kasatkin, were brought from St. Petersburg to the United States for the St. Louis World's Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The transit was organized by Edward Mikhailovich Grunwaldt, who had previous experience in trading with various American companies and agreed to cover all of the expenses in exchange for thirty percent of the income generated by the sale of the paintings.

    However, during the entirety of the exhibition not a single Russian work was sold, despite thirty of the paintings receiving exhibition awards. In an attempt to recover the losses, Grunwaldt moved the collection to New York. However, the decision proved to be rather unfortunate, and resulted in the confiscation of the collection by the United States government and, finally, a bargain sale. The artists had neither received any funds, nor ever learned of the fate of their works. Although the collection was lost, it is now possible to retrace the works' provenance. Until recently, the present work comprised a part of the collection of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Its unusual provenance draws a parallel to the artist's own wanderlust, which inspired him to seek inspiration and new ideas on boundless travels.
Contacts
Nikolai Avenirovich Shabunin (Russian, 1866-1907) 'After reaping'
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