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Family portrait in the Studio

Painting, 1917, 256×355 cm

Description of the artwork «Family portrait in the Studio»

"Family portrait in the Studio" – the largest and most expensive painting Konchalovsky. In 2013 at a London auction Sotheby's, the painting was purchased prior to the auction. Who wished to remain anonymous Russian collector paid for $ 7.5 million.

This is the third family portrait of Pyotr Konchalovsky. If we talk about favorite topics, which are closely connected with the names of avant-garde artists of the era, at the mention of Larionov recalls in the first place barbers and soldierswith the way Chagall are connected flying peopleat the mention of Goncharova come to mind saintsthat seemed to have arisen much earlier than Christianity itself. Konchalovsky is associated with family portraits. It is interesting to observe the evolution of the artist through these portraits.

He first wrote in 1911, "Family portrait (against Chinese panel)" stored in the Russian Museum. The picture is painted in the style of neo-primitivism. The artist himself described the work on this portrait: "I pursued the idea to master the art of simplified, synthetic color. That was the task I worked on in the portrait of his wife and children 1911 In him, in Spanish, is dominated by two colors: black and white. <...> Entered in the backdrop of Chinese painting serves as accompaniment to these basic tones. Back in the black, grey and repeated notes for the red – pink gills of fish and green — bluish green wave". By the way, the background picture is a tribute to revered primitives East, rare in the works of Konchalovsky, who in fact was a staunch Westerner. The characters themselves are written in vivacom style, they do not interact within the painting, and focused on the viewer. The image is devoid of volume, it is two-dimensional – as expected according to the laws of direction. Wife and children submitted to probation, figurative (one critic called them "clay dolls"). In fact, observed all the signs of neo-primitivism, we can say software for this style picture.

The following family portrait Konchalovsky writes in 1912, and it is a completely different story. "Family portrait (Siena)" is stored in the Tretyakov gallery. There, the repercussions of neo-primitivism, but holds more bold use of color – a significant place is occupied by a bright pink wall. In the picture appears a volume of the internal space. The artist himself talked about this: "The circularity of composition, its spatiality is clearly shown here by a door with stairs behind my wife, in the highest point of the semicircle". Space comisioane, clearly distinguished straight lines, intersections, corners, ovals. The characters still retain the frontal position, but, of course, felt their internal interaction. The colors do not flow into each other, each tone sounds is in full force – pink, blue, purple, white, green, dusky Burgundy.

And finally we have the third family portrait, painted five years later. The only thing it shares with the previous two characters. From the past of primitivism and left no trace. Space is volumetric and is not monolithic, it is quite clearly divided into zones. In the center – Konchalovsky and his wife. They turned sideways. To the right is the son of Mike and ladders, the boy is busy with their own Affairs at kraskoterke machine. The left part is separated a purple screen, above the chest leaned a daughter, Natasha.

Critics say this portrait is a reminiscence of the Italian Renaissance – to the XV century refer to the vertical division of the picture, the drape and even "kneeling figure", in which contemporary artists and the realities embodied in the girl's chest. Another division into male and female half. The father and the boy on the carpet with a geometric black and white pattern, and the women of the family – on the floor.

Overall, the picture belongs to Cezanne direction in the works of Konchalovsky. In favor of this and the colors. Konchalovsky is actively using one of my favorite colors Cezanne blue, but does it in a peculiar manner. The colour rhythm of the painting is very saturated, with interesting repetitions and accents. In contrast, family portraits, here silver grey blue shimmering background brings together the disparate accents. Bright blue dress wife Olga, green fabric on the machine next to Misha and the green chair Olga, purple drape, yellow stairs, blending in with the background (represented by space?) the head of the family, the painting on the back wall, which somehow sounds most color accents, and – unexpectedly – the red corner Natasha. The girl is dressed in a red jacket, the chest is also red. Natasha is written very clearly and realistic. Konchalovsky recalled that "wore her braid" brush, marveling at the possibilities of painting that allow you to do that. The portrait creates a sense of wholeness. Without a doubt, the life in it flows by its own laws, the color composition reflects the deep unity of the characters.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Fauvism, Post-Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1917

Size: 256×355 cm

Artwork in selections: 7 selections

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