Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky: Two Girls on a Swing (1940)

Screenshot_2018-12-02 bogdanov-belsky, nikolai pet russian art sotheby's n08538lot3pjj7en
Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945), RUSSIAN, TWO GIRLS ON A SWING, 1940, signed N. Bogdanoff-Belsky (lower right), oil on canvas mounted on board, 33 3/4 by 27 1/2 in. or 85.5 by 70 cm., Source: Sotheby’s

Nikolai Goes to Latvia

The Russian artist, Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky, is known for his paintings of peasant children, and when he left Russia for Latvia in autumn of 1921, he hoped to continue this peasant children series, “ often depicting his subjects in traditional Latvian costume.”

 Sotheby’s continues,

He was frequently commissioned to paint portraits of friends and their family members, and he executed the present double portrait in 1940 at the request of Mr. Alexander Cauka of Gulbene, Latvia. The image depicts Mr. Cauka’s daughter Erita and a family friend, both in Latvian dress.  Sotheby’s

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Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945), RUSSIAN, TWO GIRLS ON A SWING, 1940, signed N. Bogdanoff-Belsky (lower right), oil on canvas mounted on board, 33 3/4 by 27 1/2 in. or 85.5 by 70 cm., Source: Sotheby’s (detail)

Traditional Latvian Costume

Such costuming varies subtly from region to region of the country, but typically features a pleated skirt of brilliant colors along with a white blouse and decoratively patterned  sash. Here the young girls wear crowns of cardboard covered in cloth and embroidered with beads and tinsel, and they also wear traditional jewelry, including silver brooches with red stones and tiny silver leaves, used as fasteners for the blouse or shawl.  Sotheby’s

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Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945), RUSSIAN, TWO GIRLS ON A SWING, 1940, signed N. Bogdanoff-Belsky (lower right), oil on canvas mounted on board, 33 3/4 by 27 1/2 in. or 85.5 by 70 cm., Source: Sotheby’s (detail)

Plein Air Technique Captures Atmosphere

Bogdanov-Belsky was a master of plein air technique, exemplified to superb effect in this composition. He intricately demonstrates his ability to capture minute qualities of light, creating a sense of atmosphere that emphasizes the vivacity and youthfulness of his subjects. Sotheby’s

Click for Enlarged Details

Details

Thanks for Reading 🙂

~Sunnyside

2 Comments Add yours

  1. An engaging and eye-catching composition filled with bright colors, outdoor light, and shadows.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Color always draws me first…thanks for visiting, Rosaliene. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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