• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7440

    Important Russian Pictures

    28 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 424

    Vera Rockline (1896-1934)

    Les deux amies

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Vera Rockline (1896-1934)
    Les deux amies
    signed 'Vera Rockline' (lower right)
    pencil on paper laid down on card
    11¾ x 9 in. (31.2 x 23 cm.)
    Executed circa 1919-1921


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    In 1934 Vera Rockline's premature death was mourned by French art connoisseurs as 'one of the most painful losses to the Parisian art scene in recent years'. The 38 year old artist took her own life at the peak of her artistic career, like many other inhabitants of bohemian Montparnasse.

    Vera Rockline (1896-1934) was born in Moscow to French and Russian parentage. She studied at the studios of the best avant-garde masters of her time; Il'ia Mashkov in Moscow, and later Alexandra Exter in Kiev. Rockline soon became known as Mashkov's most talented student and was noted for her painterly technique. From 1918 she exhibited her works extensively and, like many young avant-garde artists, participated in decorating the streets of the city for the anniversary of the October Revolution. In 1919 Rockline, under the name Schlezinger, contributed to an exhibition devoted to Jewish painting and sculpture at the Union of Russian Painters in Moscow. Soon after, she fled Russia via Georgia and finally arrived in Paris in 1921. The following year she exhibited at the Salon d'Automne with great success, attracting the attention and admiration of contemporary critics as well as that of the famous French fashion designer and passionate and informed art collector Paul Poiret, who bought a number of her paintings.

    Vera Rockline's work is often described as sensual and lyrical, influenced both by Impressionism and contemporary Cubism. Les deux amies is a wonderful example of her cubist oeuvre. A fine example of her draftmanship, influenced by her mentor Alexandra Exter, this sensual composition exhibits the libertine spirit of the bohemian Paris of the 'Montparnasse era'.

    Rockline held her first solo exhibition in Galerie Charles Vildrac in 1925. She continued to exhibit to great acclaim at the Salon d'Automne, the Salon des Tuileries and the Salon des Independants as well as in numerous Paris galleries throughout the 1920s. The French art critics hailed Rockline as 'a sister of the great Venetians and of our own Renoir...a great lyrical talent', whose oeuvre is greatly appreciated by art conoisseurs. (La rétrospective Vera Rockline au Salon d'Automne, La Vie, no. 19, 1 Novembre 1934)

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    Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, G. Schurr, Vera Rockline, Galerie Battais, 1975, no. 54, illustrated.


    Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Battais, Rétrospective Vera Rockline, 1896-1934, 22 May - 12 June 1975, no. 54.