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Lots 69-71 are from the personal collection of Professor Vladimir Filippovich Zelenin (1891-1968, buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow), a therapeutist-cardiologist, doctor of medical sciences, Academic and creator of the acclaimed Zelenin drops, which are still widely used today for the treatment of cardiac neurosis. Zelenin was one of the pioneers of electrocardiography and cardiology in Russia. He was the founder and director of three therapeutic institutes, and for many years the Therapy Department (in Moscow there were two) at the Moscow Medical Institute. From 1944 he was a medical academic and founder of the Institute of Therapy. He was an illustrious doctor, who enjoyed tremendous popularity amongst the most varied range of patients.
These three paintings were acquired by Dr Zelenin in the late 1940s/early 1950s from private collections. When Zelenin was arrested at the start of 1953, accused of participating in a conspiracy to destroy the party's leaders including Stalin (the well-known Doctors’ Plot), the paintings were confiscated. After the sudden death of Stalin, they were returned to their owner.
There is an interesting story associated with the painting Cityscape (lot 71). Its author, Nikolai Sokolov, was part of the well-known trio of political caricaturists of the Stalin period, the Kukryniksy. One of the works is devoted to the Doctors' Plot (Crocodile, 1953, No. 3). But in addition to his caricatures, Sokolov was a talented landscape artist. It is an interesting irony of fate that the artist responsible for that caricature ended up in the collection of one of the 'Doctor-Killers'. The artist himself highly rated the present work, presenting it to the famous art historian Babenchikov, as per the artist's inscription on the picture. It is possible that the artist wanted to underline that he did not only paint caricatures.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF PROFESSOR VLADIMIR ZELENIN