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Konstantin Andreevich Somov (1869-1939)
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Konstantin Andreevich Somov (1869-1939)

Portrait of Prince Hubert de Broglie

Details
Konstantin Andreevich Somov (1869-1939)
Portrait of Prince Hubert de Broglie
signed in ink and dated 'C. Somof/1930' (lower left); further inscribed 'Hubert, Prince de Broglie/Château des Touches (Sarthe) Septembre 1930' (on the reverse)
pastel on paper laid down on cardboard
15 3/8 x 11 3/16 in. (39.1 x 28 cm.)
Together with an additional portrait in pastel of the present sitter, signed and dated 1930
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Renaissance, Exhibition of Russian Artists, June 1932.
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Lot Essay

Somov worked on the portrait of Hubert de Broglie in September 1930 during his stay at the Château des Touches, property of Baron Nolde.
Somov described his model in a letter to his sister: Prince Hubert de Broglie has an ugly but interesting face, he is an artist but only an amateur. Awfully bohemian, very funny, a little mad and lazy.
Although the portrait remained unfinished, Somov was satisfied with the result: The portrait executed in pastel was drawn in 2½ sittings (lasting about 4 or 5 hours in total) and turned out lively with vibrant colours, but very unfinished...In this portrait he has a scary look: the head tilted back with bright red fat lips, short nose, heavy chin and wild, shining, fixed (or so it seemed) eyes.

The portrait: ...turned out very successfully with regard to the liveliness of the subject and the charm of the technique.
Letters dated from 4 September and 6 October 1930, pp. 372-373

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