• Impressionist/Modern Works on  auction at Christies

    Sale 7832

    Impressionist/Modern Works on Paper

    3 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 267

    Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957)

    Study for Phenomena (recto & verso)

    Price Realised  


    Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957)
    Study for Phenomena (recto & verso)
    signed and dated 'P Tchelitchew 1935' (recto, lower right; verso, lower right)
    pen and ink on paper (recto); pencil on paper (verso)
    13 1/8 x 16 5/8 in. (33.5 x 42.2 cm.)
    Executed in 1935

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    This drawing is a preparatory study for the painting Phenomena, 1936-1938, which is now in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.


    Edward James, West Dean Park; his sale, 5 June 1986, lot 1670.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Saleroom Notice

    Erik La Prade has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The following lots include studies for some of Pavel Tchelitchew's most celebrated works such as Phenomena, 1936-1938 (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) and Hide-and-Seek, 1940-1942 (Museum of Modern Art, New York). Born into an aristocratic Russian family in 1898, Pavel Tchelitchew exhibited from a young age a keen interest in theatre, ballet and fine art, to the initial disappointment of his father, a mathematician who also ran the family's numerous grand ancestral estates, earning him the nickname 'king of the forests'. While working as a costume and set designer in Berlin in the early 1920s, Tchelitchew's unique and fantastical vision caught the eye of Serge Diaghilev, the impresario of the Ballets Russes in Paris, who encouraged the artist to move to Paris in 1923. There he befriended the Parisian avant-garde and in the early 1930s he met the American Surrealist poet, Charles Henri Ford, who would become his lifelong partner. In 1934, Tchelitchew and Ford settled in New York City where the artist's work was met with critical acclaim and warm reception from critics and collectors alike. Tchelitchew's first solo gallery show was held at the Julien Levy Gallery and his first solo museum show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1942. His works have been ardently collected by museums and prominent collectors such as Gertrude Stein, Sir Kenneth Clark, Edward James and Lincoln Kirstein.


    Worthing, Art Gallery, Paintings from the Edward James Collection, October - November 1963, no. 54; this exhibition later travelled to Eastbourne, Towner Art Gallery.
    Katonah, Museum of Art, Pavel Tchelitchew: The Landscape of the Body, June - September 1998 (illustrated p. 11).