Nikolaj Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945) painted many portraits of peasant children, as well as the present portrait of a girl. Contrary to Bogdanov-Belsky’s more vivid children depictions, the present portrait with a reading girl in the light of a lamp appears more quite – a motif that the artist has visited several times in his oeuvre. The warm glow of the lamp casts big shadows onto the wall of the room, depicting the colors of the fabrics in deep nuances. The loose and expressionistic style of painting captures the scene, however, with great sensitivity and expressive power.
The painting has still fresh colors and is in good condition with a few scratches at the margins and slight pressure marks due to the stretcher. The inspection under UV light reveals some minor areas of retouching to the left and lower margin. The frame has only minor wear marks. The size of the painting is 78 x 68 cm, and the frame measures 104 x 94 cm.
Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945)
Nikolaj Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky studied modern painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1884 to 1889, and later at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg with Ilya Yefimovich Repin. In the late 1890s, he worked and studied in Paris. From the beginning of the 20th century, the artist participated in various exhibitions in Russia. Later his works were shown in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Paris. Bogdanov-Belsky worked in St. Petersburg for many years before settling in Riga. He became a member of several prominent artists groups, including the ‘Peredvizhniki’ (The Wanderers) and was an active Member of the Academy of Arts. The painter is mostly known for his genre paintings, especially of peasant children, portraits and impressionist landscape studies. (cko)