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Lot 0061
Paper, mixed media - watercolour, ink. 10.3x17.6 cm.Signed lower left.CONDITION REPORT: The artwork is in excellent condition.PROVENANCE:A gift from the artist to Jan Birzgal (1898-1968).This impressive and important watercolour was presented by the artist to Jan Birzgal, a significant Latvian figure and an artist himself, who played a key role in preserving the Crimea's cultural heritage following the Revolution. Samokish initially visited the Crimea in 1918 in order to improve his health. Here he became acquainted with Birzgal, who had known of the talented artist since his own studies in St Petersburg at the Stieglitz Academy of Art, and made every effort to support Samokish in his endeavors. In 1923 Birzgal left the army and took up an important post at NARKOMPROS, the body devoted to promoting Soviet cultural aims. Via this position he played a tremendous part in preserving the area's cultural heritage from its architecture to its libraries and his involvement with artistic life in the region was significantly strengthened. Over the course of his career Birzgal was appointed director of various museums including the Alupka Palace – Museum (The Vorontsov Palace) and the Simferopol Gallery of Art. In 1940 in recognition of his 80th birthday, Samokish was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. The occasion was celebrated with the publication of Birzgal's book: N. S. Samokish: His life and work. In 1949 Birzgal returned to Riga at the request of the Government of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, bringing with him his belongings, including paintings, books and correspondence. Birzgal remained in Riga for the rest of his life, serving for a time as Director of the Foreign Art Museum.EXPERTISE: Nina Lapidus, art historian, expert in Russian art, senior scientist and curator of the Russian classical paintings in the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga from 1969 to 1995, member of the Artists’ Union of Latvia. Author of the monograph “Nikolai Samokish”, publishing house “Bely Gorod”, Moscow 2006.

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The Russian army, Nikolajs Samokiss

Estimate €10,000 - €25,000
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