• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7598

    Russian Art

    11 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 129

    Igor Ershov (1916-1985)

    Apostle; and The artist's desk

    Price Realised  


    Igor Ershov (1916-1985)
    Apostle; and The artist's desk
    signed with initials and dated 'IE 68' (lower right)
    gouache on paper
    17 x 12½ in. (43 x 31.7 cm.); 19 x 15 in. (48.2 x 38 cm.) (2)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Igor Ivanovich Ershov (1916-1985) was a painter and graphic designer. He was born into an artistic family; his father I. V. Ershov was an opera singer with the Imperial Marinskii Theatre and his mother was both a singer and a professor at the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

    In 1932, Ershov began his studies at the academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Amongst his professors were I. Brodsky and I. Bilibin, the masters of the 'silver age' of Russian painting. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War when he was evacuated to Tashkent. Ershov graduated from the Academy in 1947, presenting lithographs for A. Pushkin's Bronze Horseman. In 1949, a jubilee edition of Pushkin's works was published with illustrations by the artist.

    From the 1950s onwards, Ershov worked mainly as an illustrator of children's books. At least two generations of Russian children grew up reading Khovorod with Ershov's illustrations. His illustrations for the Russian folk tales by Charles Perrault and Aleksandr Pushkin were very popular; The tale of the Golden Cockerel (1957-1960), A tale of the Fisherman and his wife (1956-57), Russian fairy-tales (1957-1960). Ershov also illustrated the books of contemporary poets such as M. Dudin, E. Rein and G. Sapgir. The total publication of Ershov's children's books exceeds 1.2 million copies.

    Ershov's works can be found in the collections of a number of Russian museums including the State Russian Museum and Museum of A. S. Pushkin and in museums and private collections in both France and England.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    By direct descent in the artist's family to the present owner.