L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Paper, water, and tenderness - selected work by Nikolay Tolmachev

Avant un baiser, 2014.
(Unfortunately, I've been unable to find titles and/or dates for many of these.)
Dawning, 2013.
De sadist.
The Big Kiss.
Zeus, 2013.
Summer Fire, 2013.
Brooch, 2014.
Melancholia, 2013.
Think, 2013.
Franciscus, 2013.
Hunter, 2013.
Shelter, 2013.
Au printemps.
BG, 2013.
Veil, 2014.
Amour, 2016.
Mother Earth.
Avant un baiser, 2014. (Detail.)


I haven't been able to find much information on this young artist. Born in Ukraine in 1993, he studied at the Graduate School of Fine Arts there, and then at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. In 2013 he was the winner of the competition of the UART Foundation, and three years later finalist of the Canson Art School Awards in the “Drawing and Painting” category. He is represented by the Parisian contemporary art gallery Da-End, as well as doing book illustration for publishers in Ukraine.

"The Viennese Secession was a great source of inspiration a few years ago, at a time when I was looking for my own style. I watched the work of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele a lot. [...] I admired the way Klimt represents sexuality, fragility, and the way he paints the skin. [...] Today it is rather artists from the end of the XIXth, beginning of the XXth century who inspire me, like for example the Russian artists of the current Mir Iskusstva. But my source of inspiration at the moment is much more Roland Topor and René Magritte than Watteau."

Friday, January 28, 2022

Une élégante inconnue - a painting by Louis-Léopold Boilly, or not, circa 1790


Auctioned by Sotheby's last year under the title "La Dame aux roses", this painting brought in $37,500 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000. It carried an attribution as being by Jean-Simon Fournier, even though it is signed "L. Boilly", Boilly being historically credited with the work. The latter was a much more accomplished painter than the obscure Fournier. And to my eyes, this painting has all the hallmarks of Boilly's work and nothing of the relative crudity of Fournier's. I'd love to know more about how it came to bear the attribution....

A signature by Boilly is clearly visible; could it have been added later?

Sotheby's' provenance record, showing this painting's theft by the Nazis and eventual restitution to the Rothschild family, is particularity interesting:

- Louis Rothschild, Vienna;
- Confiscated from the above, October 20, 1939 and originally allocated for the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna;
- Intercepted and re-allocated for the Kunstmuseum Linz (inv. LR 717), July 31, 1940 and stored at Aussee Salt Mine (inv. 3057);
- Munich Central Collecting Point (inv. 4408) (as “V.Boilly [Portrait of a Lady])”, July 15, 1945;
- Repatriated to the Austrian government, May 6, 1946 and restituted to the Rothschild family in August 1947;
- Rene Fribourg, by 1954;
- By whom sold, London, Sotheby’s, 26 June 1963, lot 71 (as Boilly).

This photograph, showing the lovely frame, looks to be have been taken before subsequent cleaning/restoration of the painting.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

In the stillness of town - selected paintings by Algernon Cecil Newton

The House by the Canal, 1945. (The cat!)
Bourdon House from Berkeley Square, London, 1932.
In Kensington, 1920-23.
Canal basin, 1929.
House Tops and Sky, circa 1933.
Summer Afternoon in Bayswater, circa 1951.
Regent's Canal, Maida Vale, London, 1942.
Holland House, Kensington.
Downshire Hill, Hampstead, 1934
Regent's Canal, Twilight, 1925.
Outskirts of Cheltenham, 1932.
Paddington Basin, London, 1925.
Chepstow Place, Notting Hill, after a shower, 1924.
A London Window, aka The Evil Spirit of War, 1947.
Spring Morning, Campden Hill, 1940.
Surrey Canal, Camberwell, 1935.
The Backs of House, Harley Street, London, 1925.
Sunshine in Hampstead, circa 1960s (?).
Sunset, Hove, 1928.
Regent's Canal, 1927.
Minster Court, York, 1945.
Park Crescent, London, 1927.
Regent's Park Canal, Paddington, 1930.
Townscape, 1934.
Regent's Canal, 1922.


Algernon Cecil Newton (23 February 1880, London - 21 May 1968, London), British landscape artist, whose penchant for scenes involving urban waterways earned him the nickname the "Canaletto of the canals". He was a grandson of Henry Newton, one of the founders of the Winsor & Newton art materials company. He left Clare College, Cambridge, after two years without taking a degree and then studied at various art colleges in London. He married writer Marjorie Emilia Balfour Rider in 1903 and they had four children together, including the actor Robert Newton. During World War I, he served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and, later, with the Army. Invalided out in 1916 after catching pneumonia, he recuperated over the next few years among the artist community at Lamorna, Cornwall. In 1919 he returned to London and the following year exhibited forty landscapes at the Eldar Gallery. He also began to exhibit at the Royal Academy, where he was elected an Associate in 1936, a Member in 1943, and a Senior in 1956. Divorced from his first wife, he married again in 1921. In the 1920s he regularly exhibited at the New English Art Club, and from 1923 much of his work was made up of urban views of London. He also painted landscapes in Cornwall and Yorkshire and was in demand for portraits of country houses. Generally he worked from sketches done on the spot and, occasionally, from photographs. He died in London at the age of eighty-eight.

"There is beauty to be found in everything, you only have to search for it; a gasometer can make as beautiful a picture as a palace on the Grand Canal, Venice. It simply depends on the artist's vision." - Algernon Cecil Newton

Newton found stillness in the country as well: West Wycombe Park, 1933.