This momentum makes Natalia Goncharova and her companion Mikhail Larionov want to create a modern art more directly rooted in Russian traditions. The peasant scenes are one of their themes. It has been said that their group was also inspired by the figures of the icons. Around Repin the official artists spit their contempt.
Based in Moscow since 1904 Kazimir Malevich brings his contribution. In 1911 his Peasant Funeral is comparable to Un Enterrement à Ornans by Courbet but with a choice of colors in the style of Jawlensky. This work is lost. A 46 x 46 cm preparatory gouache showing the head of a bearded peasant was sold for £ 2.1M including premium by Sotheby's on June 2, 2014 over a lower estimate of £ 600K.
On June 20 in London, Christie's sells a gouache on paper laid on board realized in the same year, lot 17 B estimated £ 7M.
This view of an imaginary village is almost unique in Malevich's art. The only other identified example is lost. With its large size 106 x 106 cm it appears as an experimental work in search of a synthesis of styles. The square format and the disappearance of the horizon are bold for this theme and perhaps inspired from Klimt, the variety of colors evokes Kandinsky and the intentionally naive drawing of the houses is in the post-cubist style of Lhote and Gleizes.
Malevich considered this artwork as important in his career. He often exhibited it until his catastrophic attempt of passing to the West in 1927 in which he lost control of his best works. It was restituted to his family in 2012 after hanging for 48 years at the Kunstmuseum Basel.
SOLD for £ 7.9M including premium