Konstantin Somov (1869-1939)
THE SOMOV COLLECTION
Konstantin Somov (1869-1939)

Self-portrait

Details
Konstantin Somov (1869-1939)
Self-portrait
signed in Cyrillic and dated 'K. Somov/1933' (lower right)
pencil, sanguine and colour pencil on paper
14 x 9 7/8 in. (35 x 25 cm.)
Provenance
A gift from the artist to Boris Snejkovsky (1910-1978).
By descent to the present owner.
Literature
Iu. N. Podkopaeva & A. N. Sveshnikova, Konstantin Andreevich Somov. Pis'ma, Dnevniki. Suzhdeniia sovremennikov, Moscow, 1979, p. 401.

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen

Lot Essay

According to the artist’s diary Somov worked on this self-portrait from 12th-21st March 1933 (I. A. Rykov’s archives, Moscow). The record additionally outlines the materials used (lead and colour pencils) and the reason for its creation: it was executed at the request of Boris Snejkovsky, for whom it was intended to be a gift, ‘... My own portrait (head) in lead and colour pencil. From 12 - to 21 March 1933. A gift to Boris, drawn at his request’.
In a letter dated 23rd March 1933 addressed to his sister, Anna Mikhailova (1873-1945), Somov describes his Self-Portrait in more detail: ‘…On the third day I finished the work, my self-portrait (one head), drawn with lead and colour pencil in my old manner (similar to Blok's portrait, Valechka’s [portrait] etc.). This came out extremely unlike me... Due to the softness of pencil and the particularity of this technique, I look somewhat younger…’ (quoted from Iu. N. Podkopaeva & A. N. Sveshnikova, Konstantin Andreevich Somov. Pis'ma, Dnevniki. Suzhdeniia sovremennikov, Moscow, 1979, p. 401).
We are grateful to Elena Yakovleva, Doctor of Art History, Senior Researcher of the Russian Institute of Art History, St Petersburg for providing this catalogue note.
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