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Lev Lagorio (1827-1905)
Lev Lagorio (1827-1905)

Near Ay-Petri in the Crimea

Lev Lagorio (1827-1905)
Near Ay-Petri in the Crimea
signed in Cyrillic and dated 'Lagorio 1890' (lower left)
oil on canvas
38½ x 49½ in. (98 x 126 cm.)
In the family of the present owner in France since 1927.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the title is incorrect is the printed catalogue. A watercolour of this composition entitled 'Near Ay-Petri in the Crimea' was exhibited in St Petersburg at the Academy of Arts in 1890 (no. 32).

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen

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Lot Essay

A magnificent example of Lev Lagorio's mature work, Returning home, the Caucasus masterfully conveys the natural beauty and drama of the Caucasian landscape. Lagorio was born in Feodosia in 1927, a decade after the birth of Aivazovsky under whom he was to later study. On the completion of his studies at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1850, Lagorio travelled to Italy, France, Switzerland and Holland. From 1852-1860 he settled in Italy, the birthplace of his father. In addition to his European trips, Lagorio travelled extensively in Russia, painting a number of his finest works including Night of the Neva, St Petersburg sold at Christie's in 2007 for a staggering £1,476,000.
Like Aivazovsky, whose influence on the younger artist is immediately apparent, Lagorio was primarily a maritime artist who captured the sea and all of its moods. One of the most naturally talented maritime and battle-artists of the 19th century, Lagorio's Caucasian landscapes are highly accomplished: the sun-drenched landscape, sparkling sea and bright blue azure sky transport the viewer to the coastline. In the light and the earth one hears the echo of Lagorio's time in Italy. The ferocious sun beats down on the rocks, picked out with highlights of white; the scattered clouds softening its intensity and bathing the scene in a cool glorious light. A superb master of colouring, Returning home, the Caucasus is painted confidently in the best tradition of Academic and Romantic landscape painting.

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