Lydia Gladkova

LYDIA GLADKOVA, ELEONORA PASTON
THE SECRETS OF I VA N POK HITINOV ’S A RT

Special issue. IVAN POKHITONOV. THE ARTIST SORCERER

THE EXHIBITION “THE ARTIST-SORCERER”, ORGANIZED BY THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY TO MARK THE 160th ANNIVERSARY OF IVAN PAVLOVICH POKHITONOV (1850–1923), FEATURED WORKS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY AND OTAR MARGANIA (MOSCOW).

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Lydia Gladkova, Eleonora Paston
The Secrets of Ivan Pokhitinov’s Art

#4 2010 (29)

The exhibition “The Artist-Sorcerer”, organized by the Tretyakov Gallery to mark the 160th anniversary of Ivan Pavlovich Pokhitonov (1850-1923), featured works from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery and Otar Margania (Moscow). The dates of the exhibition, initially scheduled to run from March 2 to November 28, were twice extended due to the great public interest in Pokhitonovʼs oeuvre. Visitors to the show in their comments talked not only about gratitude for “the feeling of joy and harmony of life” they experienced viewing Pokhitonovʼs works and admiration for the artistʼs consummate workmanship, but also about his painting techniques, which were described as “spellbinding” and appearing “a miracle”. As if echoing Ilya Repinʼs opinion about Pokhitonov – “this is an artist-sorcerer”, which gave the title to the exhibition – viewers wrote that they visited the show several times to engage with this “miracle” again and again.

EXPERTISE

Lydia Gladkova, Eleonora Paston
Viktor Vasnetsov’s ТAlenushka and ТGusli Players

№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

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Lydia Gladkova
Through the Optical Glass of Artistic Expertise

№2 2005 (07)

Artistic expertise and authentication have recently become a matter of great relevance in the world art-istic community and in art marketing practices, the subject of heated debate initiated by art experts, dealers, collectors and critics, and also the majority of art consumers – namely, the general public at large, whose opinion, however dilettante in its nature, cannot be ignored. The arguments have reached an extreme level, both verbally and in the press, as the question of whether museum artistic expertise is admissible and necessary to cater for dealers, private galleries, individual collectors and auction houses. Some think such a task ought to be carried out by independent experts and/or scientific research centres which possess the most advanced technical devices, and are licensed to authorize the authentication of works of art.

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