VIKTOR VASNETSOV’S “ALENUSHKA” AND “GUSLI PLAYERS”

Lydia Gladkova, Eleonora Paston

Article: 
EXPERTISE
Magazine issue: 
#2 2008 (19)

The story of Viktor Vasnetsov’s study for the “Alenushka” painting (Tretyakov Gallery, 1881), kept at the Abramtsevo Museum Reserve was quite circuitous in spite of a propitious “starting point”.

The picture came to the museum in 1967 from Lydia Ruslanova’s collection; previously it was already included in a list of Vasnetsov’s works compiled by Nikolai Morgunov and Natalya Morgunova-Rudnitskaya: “Alenushka. Oil on canvas, 68 by 48 cm. Lower left: V. Vasnetsov. The study is fairly closely related to the painting at the Tretyakov Gallery. Shown at an exhibition of Vasnetsov’s works from private collections at the Moscow Branch of the Artists’ Society in June 1947. Lydia Ruslanova’s collection, Moscow.”[1] One would think that this information was exhaustive and no further research into the attribution of the piece was called for. However, something about the picture disquieted museum staff suggesting that the study should not be categorized as the artist’s “last preparatory work”.[2] A certain link seemed to be missing between the two “Alenushka”s, a link that would illuminate the logic behind Vasnetsov’s work on the painting based on a “fairy tale subject”.[3]

In the 1970s, compiling an academic catalogue of the collection of paintings of the Abramtsevo Museum Reserve, its staff queried the Tretyakov Gallery about the probable origination date of their picture. A visual comparison of the study and the “Alenushka” (1881) painting led to a suggestion that the piece under examination was not a study, as Nikolai Morgunov and Natalya Morgunova-Rudnitskaya believed, but a later version of the painting created by the artist himself approximately in the late 1910s. However, in the 1980s, dismantling the study, a restorer from the Abramtsevo museum discovered a pencilled grid on the obverse of the picture, and a signature on its reverse: Yu. I. Uspensky. The museum staff decided that the piece was a copy of the painting at the Tretyakov Gallery, and the reverse side carried the copier’s name. The piece was removed from the permanent exhibition and kept for over 20 years in the reserve department.

In 2007 the Abramtsevo museum asked the Tretyakov Gallery to examine their “Alenushka” and provide an evaluation. Work began, with stylistic and technical examinations performed — stereo binocular microscopy, infra-red analysis and ultra-violet analyses, X-rays, an analysis of the brushwork, and chemical tests of the pigments and the priming. The findings of the comparative study of the picture under examination and the pieces in possession of the Tretyakov Gallery, and a comparison of the technical study results with the data on Vasnetsov’s benchmark works from the database of the technical expertise department of the Tretyakov Gallery revealed similarities in the manner of drawing, in the composition of the paint layer, in the texture of painted surface, and colour design. The conclusion was unequivocal: the piece from the Abramtsevo Museum Reserve was of Vasnetsov’s making. But there were still questions to be answered about the picture’s date and its place in Vasnetsov’s art, about the origin of the big grid pencilled over the paint layer and the origin of the signature on the reverse of the canvas.

The last question was the easiest. Letters to and from Yury Ivanovich Uspensky, a railroad engineer from Voronezh, were found among Vasnetsov’s letters. Yury Uspensky was a brother of Alexander Ivanovich Uspensky (1873—1938), the author of a monograph on Vasnetsov’s art[4] which the artist regarded as “the best publication” about his work. Probably Yury Uspensky too was close to Vasnetsov, and in 1920 the artist created the former’s portrait[5]. In December of the same year Uspensky wrote to Vasnetsov: “The ‘Vasnetsov maladie’ still obsesses me, that is I am as mad as before about your pictures and I dare to think about something new.”[6] He is known to have possessed several pieces by Vasnetsov. One can suppose that the picture under examination was at some stage either sold or presented to him by Vasnetsov, and the signature on the reverse testifies to the artist’s keen admirer’s ownership of the picture.

There were also questions about the picture’s date and its relation to the “Alenushka” from the Tretyakov Gallery — was it a study or a later version of the painting? As is known, Vasnetsov in the late 1910s and early 1920s often reproduced his previous work. The works replicated include such pieces as “Knight at the Crossroads” and “Knights”, but as for “Alenushka”, until now no record of its reproduction has been available. Data derived from the technical examination and analyses, too, suggested that the piece could have been created earlier than the 1910s. It was necessary to focus on the history of creation of the “Alenushka” from the Tretyakov Gallery and this painting’s life story.

As is known, the artist conceived the idea of the painting in the summer of 1880 when he lived together with his brother Appolinary in the village of Akhtyrka, close to Abramtsevo, Savva Mamontov’s estate near Moscow. Vasnetsov, who moved to Moscow in March 1878, became acquainted with the family of the famous industrialist and arts patron Savva Ivanovich Mamontov in the autumn of that year. Vasnetsov was introduced to the Mamontov family by his friends Ilya Repin and Vasily Polenov. From then on the artist became one of the most active participants of the circle organized by Mamontov, which was later called the Abramtsevo group.

In the summer of 1879, in Abramtsevo and its vicinities, Viktor Vasnetsov worked on sketches “Abramtsevo”, “Akhtyrka”, “Birch Grove in Abramtsevo” (all are kept now at the Vasily Polenov Museum Reserve) and on the painting “Three Tsarevnas (Princesses) of the Underworld” (Tretyakov Gallery). Repin at the same time and in the same place created “Departure of a Conscript” (1879, Russian Museum) and landscapes “On a Field Boundary” (Tretyakov Gallery) and “On a Small Bridge in the Park” (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts).

Abramtsevo landscapes were diversely featured in numerous plein air sketches of Vasily Polenov. Next summer the artists were back in Abramtsevo and its surrounding areas. Repin was working on sketches for his painting “Procession Carrying the Cross in Kursk Province” (Tretyakov Gallery, 1883) and accomplishing a painting “Abramtsevo” (in the Polenov Museum Reserve), while Vasnetsov started working on “Alenushka”. This is what the artist said about how the idea for the painting came up: “I do not remember when exactly the idea of ‘Alenushka’ came into my head, it seems to have been germinating in my mind for a long time, but I happened to see the real girl in Akhtyrka, when I met a bare-headed girl who caught my imagination. Her eyes had so much sorrow, loneliness and the purely Russian sadness in them that I simply gasped when I saw her. She had about her a distinctive Russian aura!”[7]

Vasnetsov made a pencil croquis and an oil study, in which he drafted the composition of the future painting — a little girl sitting by a pond and reflecting on her rough luck as an orphan. The artist made many sketches from nature trying to convey as persuasively as possible the state of sadness and created many landscape sketches looking for motifs congenial to the overall mood of the future painting. In a general way, it was finished in 1880 already. It has a date inscription — “1881. 20th f.” On February 25 1881 the paintings from Moscow were to be shipped to St. Petersburg for the 9th exhibition of the “Peredvizhniki” (Wanderers) exhibition society.

In the catalogue of the “Peredvizhniki” exhibition in St. Petersburg the painting was listed as “Alenushka” (Half-witted Lass). Critics interpreted the image of Alenushka as that of an orphaned girl from the countryside. One of the critics, “Casual Observer” (Nikolai Alexandrov), wrote in the “Khudozhestvenny Zhurnal” (Art Journal): “At the present exhibition Vasnetsov is displaying a big painting with a highly attractive and deep-felt image of a village girl whom the artist called ‘Alenushka’ (half-witted lass). Actually, the girl is not a half-wit, she is simply called that... Everyone calls Alenushka half-witted. In this little face you will read the whole drama of her life, all the sorrow of her soul, the powerless, awful sorrow. To express the soul so deeply, to convey the type so poetically, you have to possess the true talent of an artist, and not just the draftsmanship of a painter.”[8]

One would assume that at that time the artist himself saw in Alenushka a village girl with the “purely Russian sadness in her eyes”, otherwise he would have called the picture differently. The same exhibition featured his painting “Three Tsarevnas (Princesses) of the Underworld” (1879), which had a subtitle “Based on a Russian folk fairy tale”. And if Vasnetsov had conceived “Alenushka” as a fairy tale picture, there would have been nothing to prevent him from giving it a similar subtitle.

On April 11 1881 the “Peredvizhniki” exhibition featuring “Alenushka” opened in Moscow. The phrase “half-witted lass” was already gone from the picture’s title, although this time around the critics had even more questions. Sergei Flerov wrote in the “Moskovskie Vedomosti” (Moscow Journal) newspaper: “What sort of a girl is this? This is Alenushka. The catalogue lists her as such, ‘Alenushka’ and that’s it. This is a charade. They say that Mr. Vasnetsov presents us with an image of a ‘half-witted lass’. In this case the artist should have written exactly that: a halfwitted lass or, better still, ‘Alenushka the Half-Witted Lass’. We would know then what we are looking at. We think that Mr. Vasnetsov wanted to picture for us a girl from Russian fairy tales. This conjecture seems to explain for us Alenushka’s countenance and the sweep of space in the landscape.”[9] Thus, mention of the fairytale nature of Alenushka’s image was made. Then the exhibition moved to provincial locations. In November it was mounted in Kiev, and a reviewer in the “Kievlyanin” (Kiev Resident) newspaper voiced an opinion about the Alenushka’s image similar to that of the “Khudozhestvenny Zhurnal”[10] critic.

In 1882 Vasnetsov, preparing the painting for display at the All-Russian Arts and Industry Exhibition in Moscow, made alterations to it. On April 25 he wrote to Pavel Chistyakov: “I will be showing ‘A knight musing before taking his way straight forward’ (improved and enlarged), ‘Alenushka’ (also a little improved) and ‘Acrobats’.”[11] An X-ray of “Alenushka” helps trace to some extent the nature of the improvements. The alterations were made to the girl’s figure — her face, neck and a shoulder were re-worked, in many places the landscape was “touched”. However, the biggest changes were made to the overall colour design which ties the landscape up with the girl’s figure so that they form a poetic unity. These modifications do not show up on the X-ray shot but they are visible in the texture of the upper layer of paints, in this layer’s “load” which gives evidence that new brushstrokes were applied to the picture’s already dried paints. Probably it was after the reworking that the picture acquired the poetic unity which Alexei Fedorov-Davydov later remarked upon: “the lyrical quality of the plot of ‘Alenushka’ (1881, Tretyakov Gallery), for instance, is expressed through the crepuscular out-of-the-way-ness of the place, this place’s alertness, in the woefulness of an autumn setting. This picture gives rise to the tradition of expressing in visual art the unbreakable link between humans and nature and the organic inclusion of humans into nature by means of conveying the unity of the human being’s ‘mood’ and the nature’s ‘state’. To some extent the painting gave rise to ‘landscape of mood’, which was so formidably developed by Levitan in his art.”[12]

However, the awareness of close affinity between human emotions and the state of nature which seems to be responding to human thoughts and feelings was in a great measure common to Russian folklore too. This demotic idea of nature, and its miraculous power was taken up by Vasnetsov, who learned folk beliefs as a child and was the first artist to incorporate them into his art. This is probably where we should look for the roots of Alenushka’s “fairy-tale-ness”, which, perhaps unwittingly, was “conferred” on the picture by Vasnetsov — a poet and folk tale teller by the nature of his talent who started out in art as a genre painter and a fellow of the “Peredvizhniki” society. The “Alenushka” from the Abramtsevo Museum still has all the markings of the “Peredvizhniki” tradition. And the piece which was shown, before its reworking, at that society’s exhibition in 1882, if you consider the reviewers’ opinion, was made in the same vein as well. One is led to believe that it is this “Alenushka”, hidden under the later layers of paint, that represents the missing link to connect the piece from the Abramtsevo Museum to the Tretyakov Gallery’s “Alenushka”.

What happened to the work next can be learned from Vasnetsov’s correspondence and from literary sources. On June 1 1882 the artist wrote to Pavel Tretyakov: “Dear Pavel Mikhailovich, my ‘Alenushka’ has not yet been sold, which has a big impact on my financial state. I would be very much interested to know: how do you like it in its present form at the exhibition.

Until now, of course, I have not had a reason to think that you favour it so much as to decide to buy it for the gallery; but it is very desirable for me to know your opinion in this respect. Should the price, rather than the picture itself, prove to be the stumbling block, I am certainly prepared to make considerable concessions (at the Peredv[izhniki] exhibition the price was set at 2,000), and I would leave it up to you to set an inoffensive price, because I am definitely ignorant about what price should be asked for.

However, if the picture entirely fails to meet your requirements, then surely I am not in a position to make any offers. Given my present tight financial circumstances, I wish to find myself in a certain position in relation to you as our sole serious buyer of paintings.

If your opinion is favourable to me, I would earnestly ask you to apprise me as soon as possible; if not, then your silence will be the answer for me.

Please accept the assurances of my most profound respect — V.Vasnetsov.’[13]

Tretyakov did not reply nor did he buy the picture. It was bought for 500 rubles by Anatoly Ivanovich Mamontov. In 1896 “Alenushka” was shown at the AllRussian exhibition in Nizhny-Novgorod. The picture then was still in Mamontov’s possession. Later it became the property of Vladimir von Mekk. In 1899 the picture was exhibited at Vasnetsov’s solo show and, finally, on April 27 1900 it was bought from von Mekk by the Tretyakov Gallery Board for 8,000 rubles. In the same year the picture also “visited” the Exposition Universelle (the Great Paris Exhibition).

In 1900 a binder with albert-types of Vasnetsov’s pictures was published (Moscow, 1900). In a listing of the pictures at the beginning of the collection the “Alenushka” entry was supplied with an excerpt from the fairy tale “Sister Alenushka and Brother Ivanushka” written down by Alexander Afanasiev in the Bobrovsk county of Voronezh province[14]. The content ofAfanasiev’s version of the tale[15] does not in the least match the narrative of Vasnetsov’s picture. Still, in 1900 the connection between “Alenushka” and Russian folklore was already taken for granted.

The picture came to the Gallery under the title “Alenushka”, without a mention of its fairy-tale roots, but many generations of viewers saw it as closely associated with Russian folk tales, ascribing to Alenushka the poetic traits of the character from the tale. The association between the painting and the narrative of the Russian folk tale was recorded in the Tretyakov Gallery catalogues, for the years 1952 and 1984, as well.

The sketches of peasants from villages near Abramtsevo created in 1880 by Ilya Repin were used by him as a basis for the painting “Procession Carrying the Cross in the Kursk province” — a picture with profound social and psychological messages, “from the thickest centre of reality” (Ilya Repin). Abramtsevo sketches created at the time by Polenov became an important component part of the Russian school of plein air painting. And the barefooted peasant girl with big rueful eyes whom Vasnetsov met, also in Abramtsevo, and whose image he sketched, inspired the artist to create one of the most poetic images of Russian art, which became a kind of archetype of an orphan’s rough luck.

The picture under examination from the Abramtsevo Museum — the image that has little by way of a fairy tale but so strong an aura of misfortune — was “granted again the status” of a study for the “Alenushka” painting (1881) and dated to 1880. The visible big grid drawn over the layer of paints does not indicate that the piece is a copy (in this case the grid would be applied to the priming), but is an argument for the theory that the sketch was indeed a “last preparatory piece” for the “Alenushka” from the Tretyakov Gallery (173 by 121 cm). The artist needed this grid due to technicalities of the process of reproducing the imagery of the study (68 by 48 cm) on a much bigger canvas.

The work under examination, as well as all the reversals experienced by the painting “Alenushka” from the Tretyakov Gallery, give us a rich food for thought about the artistic method of Vasnetsov, this pioneer of folk-tale and legend narratives in Russian art.
Equally painstaking research was called for by another picture from the Abramtsevo Museum — “Gusli Players” (oil on canvas on carton, 43.5 by 56.3 cm. Signature lower right: V.Vasnetsov), also sent to the Tretyakov Gallery for an expert evaluation. A first visual examination of the “Gusli Players” came to the conclusion that there was a certain similarity with the artistic techniques used by Vasnetsov elsewhere, which led to the initial certainty about the artist’s authorship of the piece. When comparing the Abramtsevo piece and Vasnetsov’s similarly-themed painting “Gusli Players” (Perm Picture Gallery, 1899), the researchers pointed to differences in the general colour scheme, in the gusli players’ figures, and in certain details of the landscape.

There was an impression that the Abramtsevo piece was a later replica of the painting from Perm, probably because the picture under examination was very soiled, which got in the viewer’s way. Further analysis was made difficult not only due to such strong soiling but also because of a thick, decayed and tarnished varnish, which, hampering the researchers’ attempts to “read” the texture of the layer of paints, concealed the colour design as well. Also visible were traces of restorers’ interventions which led to a partial loss of paints on the top and, perhaps, of the date in the lower right corner.

A subsequent stereo binocular microscopy revealed that the signature was made over a semi-dry layer of paints by the same pigments as in the artwork and that craquelure of the signature was simultaneous to that of the paints. Although with difficulty, the researchers succeeded in figuring out the date under the signature: 189 (6 or 8). Inscribed with a nearly dry brush, the first two figures were barely distinguishable; and the last two figures had little pieces of tissue paper glued over them. A macro-photography analysis confirmed that the figures were there. Later, when restorers at Abramtsevo cleaned the figures from the tissue paper, the figure “8” was revealed. The findings of an X-ray, as well as analysis of the brushwork, findings of analyses using the techniques of ultraviolet fluorescence, stereo binocular microscopy, pulsed cathode luminescence, macrophotography, and the art-historical evaluation strongly suggested that in terms of its material, canvas, composition of pigments, and artistic techniques the piece corresponded with the artist’s benchmark works of the late 19th century.

The established date matched the information to be gleaned from Vasnetsov’s correspondence. In a letter written in 1897 the artist wrote to an engraver named Gustav Frank, an employee of the Department of State Paper Stock and Currency Production: “I am very sorry that I have to delay for a time the fulfillment of your request to send the ‘Gusli Players[16] for printing, for I intend to create an oil painting using this watercolour study. But after I do that I will be delighted to place at your disposal the watercolour piece for print.”[17] The “Gusli Players” painting that is now at the Perm Gallery was finished by the artist already in 1898 — in January he sent it to his solo show in St. Petersburg (the exhibition opened at the Academy of Fine Arts on February 4 1899).

Perhaps it was at the exhibition that Ivan Tsvetkov asked to buy it. On March 9 1899 Vasnetsov wrote to the collector: “Dear Ivan Yevmenievich, I am sending you my painting ‘Gusli Players’. I sell you the picture reserving for myself the right to reproduce it for the Emperor — I reserve the publication rights for myself. I have received the money for the painting in full.”[18] The point is that after the imperial family visited the exhibition on the last day of its operation, Nicholas II ordered a copy of this painting. It is known that the commission was fulfilled by Vasnetsov in 1901 (oil on canvas, 45 by 55 cm, Novgorod Museum Reserve). On May 9 1901 the collector wrote to Vasnetsov, “If you do not need the ‘Blind Gusli Players’ painting any longer, please pass it on to my employee — the bearer of this notice. Presently I am busy accommodating my collection in a new house and I wish to return your picture to its proper place.”[19]

Vasnetsov replied to Tsvetkov on May 12 1901, “Dear Ivan Yevmenievich, finally I have the opportunity to return the painting ‘Gusli Players’ to you. Please accept my most heart-felt gratitude for kindly having loaned it.”[20] In October 1901 Vasnetsov presented to Tsvetkov a binder with albert-types of his paintings including an albert-type of the “Gusli Players” owned by Tsvetkov. After 1918 the picture found itself in the State Museum Fund and in 1926 it was sent to the Perm Picture Gallery.

It looked as if everything was resolved - the date on the picture “Gusli Players” from the Abramtsevo Museum was found and there remained no more questions to be asked. However, a comparison of the watercolour study “Gusli Players” (22.4 by 24.9 cm, 1885) from the Tretyakov Gallery and the painting from the Perm Gallery (oil on board, 34.3 by 44 cm. Lower left: V. Vasnetsov y.99) reveals a stunning similarity, all differences between the techniques and sizes notwithstanding. Whereas the picture under examination from the Abramtsevo Museum (43.5 by 56.3 cm, 1898) considerably differs from them. One is led to believe that this piece is a study for the “Gusli Players” of 1899 — the painting where the artist attempted to modify certain details of the composition and the colour scheme compared to the 1885 watercolour study, made for a production of “The Snow Maiden” — but later, working on the final version, he discarded the 1898 study and reproduced, nearly one to one, his earlier watercolour study.

This not altogether ordinary course of work on a picture recalls how Vasnetsov worked on his picture “A Little Book Store” (1876, Tretyakov Gallery). The investigation of Nikolai Morgunov and Natalya Morgunova-Rudnitskaya describes how the artist worked on the piece, “In 1874 he made a drawing for a print to be published in the 27th issue of the ‘Pchela’ (Bee) magazine in 1875. Then the painter made an oil study or the first draft of the painting (Russian Museum)[21], and in 1876, at a ‘Peredvizhniki’ society exhibition, he showed the painting (in the Tretyakov Gallery) with a much modified and more complex composition.”[22]

But the 1874 drawing reprinted in the “Pchela” (it was engraved in Warsaw and published under the title “A book store of Lubok pictures and booklets” in a mirror reflection) resembles down to the last detail “A Little Book Store” of 1876 from the Tretyakov Gallery. Meanwhile, the oil study of 1875 considerably differs both from the drawing and the final version of 1876, thus radically changing customary ideas about how the artist used to work on his pictures. So, after we have re-examined the documents and letters from the artist’s archives we come up with two Vasnetsov pieces whose process of creation followed a highly unusual path — from an already established composition of the piece to a search for some new forms and a return, in the final version, to the initial composition. The example of “A Little Book Store” produced further evidence that our conclusion was correct: The “Gusli Players” picture (1898, Abramtsevo Museum) is a study for the “Gusli Players” painting (1899, in the Perm Picture Gallery). And the question of why the artist’s work on these pieces followed such an unusual course would necessitate a separate study addressing the issues of the origin of the artist’s creative methods and the psychology of his creativity.

 

  1. Morgunov, Nikolai, and Morgunova-Rudnitskaya, Natalya. Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Life and art. Moscow, 1962. p. 415 (further: Morgunov, Nikolai, and Morgunova-Rudnitskaya).
  2. Ibidem, p. 207.
  3. In Russian art scholarship, the prevailing assumption has been that the subject of the painting was initially inspired by the Russian folk tale “Sister Alenushka and Brother Ivanushka.”
  4. Uspensky, Alexander. Viktor Mikhailovich Visnetsov. Moscow; 1906.
  5. Presently at the Vasnetsov House Museum (oil on canvas, 56x45.6 cm). In 1948 was shown at an exhibition of Visnetsov’s works from private collections dedicated to the artist’s anniversary.
  6. Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Letters. Journals. Memoirs. Opinions of contemporaries / Compilation, foreword and footnotes by Yaroslavtseva, Nina. Moscow, 1987. p. 297 (further: Letters. Journals).
  7. Lobanov, Viktor. Viktor Vasnetsov in Moscow. Moscow, 1961. p. 98.
  8. Quoted from: Morgunov, Nikolai, and Morgunova-Rudnitskaya, Natalya. Op.cit. p. 202.
  9. Viktor Vasnetsov. Letters. New materials / Compiled by Korotkina, Lyudmila. St.Petersburg, 2004. p.77 (further: Letters. New materials).
  10. See Morgunov, Nikolai, and Morgunova-Rudnitskaya, Natalya. Op.cit., p. 202.
  11. Viktor Mikhailovich Visnetsov. Letters. Journals. pp. 58, 59.
  12. Fedorov-Davydov, Alexei. Russian landscape of the late 19th — early 20th century. Moscow, 1974. p. 10.
  13. Viktor Mikhailovich Visnetsov. Letters. Journals. p. 59.
  14. Russian folk tales edited by Alexander Afanasiev / 3 volumes / 2nd volume. Moscow, 1985. p. 250252. “Sister Alenushka and Brother Ivanushka”
  15. This collection includes four versions of the tale. Overall, the known stock of the versions of the tale includes 24 Russian versions (Op.cit. 2nd volume. p. 431).
  16. The piece in question is a study “Gusli Players”. At the State Tretyakov Gallery since 1907, which was made for a production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Snow Maiden” at Savva Mamontov’s Russian Private Opera House in Moscow. 1885.
  17. Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Letters. Journals. p. 140. The Department planned to publish in colour all sketches for the theatre sets and costumes for the production.
  18. Viktor Vasnetsov. Letters. New materials. p. 124.
  19. Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Letters. Journals. p. 409, 410.
  20. Op.cit. p.189.
  21. “A little picture shop” (Oil on canvas. 53 by 45 cm. 1875, State Russian Museum). It came to the State Russian Museum from Tsvetkov’s gallery. (A catalogue of Tsvetkov’s collection lists it under the title “At a little book store.”)
  22. Morgunov, Nikolai, and Morgunova-Rudnitskaya, Natalya. Op. cit. p. 79.

Illustrations

Self-portrait. 1873
Self-portrait. 1873
Oil on canvas. 71×58 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Alenushka. 1881
Alenushka. 1881
Oil on canvas. 178×121 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Alenushka. Sketch
Alenushka. Sketch
Oil on canvas. 43×33 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Alenushka. Study
Alenushka. Study
Oil on canvas. 26.5×19.5 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
At the Fringe of a Forest. Akhtyrka. Sketch
At the Fringe of a Forest. Akhtyrka. Sketch
Oil on canvas. 30.5×18.5 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
 
Alenushka. 1880
Study. Abramtsevo Museum Reserve. Detail
Alenushka. 1880. Study
Alenushka. 1880. Study
Abramtsevo Museum Reserve
Alenushka. 1880. Study
Alenushka. 1880. Study
Abramtsevo Museum Reserve. X-ray
Alenushka. 1881
Alenushka. 1881
State Tretyakov Gallery. X-ray
Gusli Players. 1895. Study
Gusli Players. 1895. Study
Watercolour on paper mounted on cardboard. 22.4×24.9 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery
Gusli Players. 1899
Gusli Players. 1899
Oil on panel. 34.3×44 cm. Perm Picture Gallery
Gusli Players. 1899. Details
Gusli Players. 1899
Perm Picture Gallery. Details
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard. 43.5×56.3 cm. Abramtsevo Museum Reserve
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Abramtsevo Museum Reserve. Detail with signature
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Gusli Players. 1898. Study
Abramtsevo Museum. Details
A Little Book Shop. 1876
A Little Book Shop. 1876
Oil on canvas. 84×66.3 cm. Tretyakov Gallery

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