IVAN FEDOROVICH CHOULTSÉ
"FIN OCTOBRE, BOIS DE BOULOGNE"
Signed 'Iw F. Choultsé' bottom right; also inscribed with title in pencil on stretcher verso, oil on canvas
21 1/2 x 25 3/4 in. (54.6 x 65.4cm)
The Estate of Stephen Lincoln Goodale III, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
With his ability to capture the effects of sunlight and shadow, and to deftly portray the atmosphere of a landscape by highlighting both its natural and sublime elements, Ivan Choultsé is considered one of Russia's most well-regarded painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he received his formal training from the celebrated miniaturist and painter Konstantin Krijitsky (1858-1911). While still in his twenties, the artist traveled throughout Asia, North Africa and Europe, painting sunny, summer landscapes in the Mediterranean and sparkling, snowy scenes in Switzerland, before eventually establishing residency in Paris. There, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1923, after which the demand for his work increased substantially. His solo show at Galérie Gerald Frères, where his work sold out on the first day, led to another one-man exhibition in London as well as the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Amongst his many accolades, the highest was his election to serve as Czar Nicholas II's Court Painter, assuming the prior role of his former teacher.
The present work depicts the Bois de Boulogne, a large wooded park on the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. A remnant of the ancient oak forest of Rouvray, the Bois was named for a chapel, Notre-Dame de Boulogne La Petite, which was built under the command of Philip IV (1268-1314) in the early 14th century. Several centuries later, the park was re-imagined and re-designed by Napoleon III (1808-1873), who wished to create a public space, such as Hyde Park in London, where people of various classes could go to enjoy the outdoors. Choultsé chose the Bois as a frequent subject, admiring its pristine beauty and calm environs. The warm color palette of yellows, oranges, and browns creates a serene and inviting scene bathed in light. Peeking through the trees which are laden with and surrounded by autumn leaves, the sun dapples the ground with luminous beams, while also creating strong shadows. The river becomes a mirror for the sun, reflecting its radiance along the horizon line as it flows through the park. Scenes such as this are a quintessential representation of Choultsé's oeuvre.
Sold for $65,000 (buyer's premium included)