The landscape Soubachi was executed by Iacovleff in September 1931 in the Pamir mountains, in the Chinese territory of Turkistan. A graduate of the Imperial Academy of Arts, having become famous as an artist-explorer through his long expeditions in the Far East from 1917-19 and in Central Africa from 1924-25, Iacovleff, on this occasion, set off to Central Asia as part of the French automobile company Citroën’s expedition, which became famous as La Croisière jaune. It lasted thirteen months, from March 1931 to April 1932. One of the leaders of the expedition recorded that the group spent the spring in Persia, the summer in the Himalayas, the autumn in Turkistan and the winter in China. On 12 September 1931, according to George Le Févre, autumn immediately turned into winter in the Pamir mountains with no transition from one to the other, and the participants on the trip found themselves waking up in their camp buried under snow. Their camp was 3756 meters above sea level in the small, ancient settlement of Soubachi and located on the flat western plain of the well-known peak Mustagh-Aga, which continues to fascinate climbers to this day.
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.