• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7440

    Important Russian Pictures

    28 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 401

    Aleksandr Evgen'evich Iakovlev (1887-1938)

    Étude de villages Éthiopiens, Addis-Abeba

    Price Realised  


    Aleksandr Evgen'evich Iakovlev (1887-1938)
    Étude de villages Éthiopiens, Addis-Abeba
    signed, inscribed and dated 'A. Iakovleff/Addis Abeba 1928' (lower left)
    gouache on paper laid down on board
    20 7/8 x 14 5/8 in. (53 x 37 cm.)

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    'Notwithstanding the increasing celebrity they enjoyed after their return from Africa, Iacovleff and most of his comrade travelers felt a strange emptinessm a restlessness, a spiritual void. "I love traveling, the voluptuous thrill of constant movement, the constant discovery of new wonders," the artist had confessed in an interview shortly after his return. And indeed I doubt if many months spent in the African wilderness can leave anyone indifferent. Such an experience is more likely to affect us like an infection, or a drug. The members of the Croisière Noire expedition seem to have been intoxicated by the limitless freedom that prevails in the desert; by the crystalline silence of nights punctuated only by the jackal's yelp, the hyena's wild laugh, the majestic roar of the lion; above all, by the deep camaraderie bred among men, thrust into situations of dearth and risk, who share a campfire for hundreds of consecutive nights, under Africa's dazzling stars. The travelers had been home for barely two years when they started talking about a new expedition. "Where would our vagabondings lead to next?" Iacovleff wrote in his journals. "This question could be read in the gaze of my traveling companions, grown used to nomadic life...Soon after the exhibitions, films, books were behind us our unquiet spirits took off again in search for new adventure."'

    ibid., p. 36

    Special Notice

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    Pre-Lot Text



    Exhibition catalogue, Alexandre Iacovleff - Itinérances, Paris, 2004, p. 145, no. 91, illustrated.


    Boulogne Billancourt, Musée des années 30, Alexandre Iacovleff - Itinérances, March - August 2004.