Dec 14, 2017 - Sale 2465

Sale 2465 - Lot 226

Price Realized: $ 8,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,000
Savonarola. Preliminary sketch with strong Russian Constructivist elements for the production which was presented at Theater in der Königgrätzer Straße, Berlin, 1923; the final version of this set design was sold at Christie's London in 2016. Lacking in that final rendering was the presence of the titular friar, making this study an exceptionally important glimpse into Tchelitchew's intentions concerning scale. Graphite, gouache, and watercolor on paper. 210x305 mm; 8 1/4x12 inches, inlaid to 11 1/4x14 3/4-inch sheet. Signed "P. Tchelitchew" on verso. Horizontal crease. Hinged to matte; framed.

Additional Details

"Tchelitchew's work in Berlin appears to have been enthusiastically received and is said to have widely influenced German stage designers during the mid-1920's. Unfortunately documentation on his productions is extremely limited. . . . The influence of Leger and the Russian Constructivists was still strongly felt in both costumes and sets. Savonarola was the most Constructivist of all his productions and it is significant that during his years in Berlin, Tchelitchew was friendly with one of the leading Constructivists, Lissitzky, then living in the German capital. A more detailed analysis of Tchelitchew's early period in the theatre must await the study of his entire career as a stage designer which some day, surely, will be published. Meanwhile there is one point—a strangely neglected point—which can be discussed with some certainty from the evidence at hand: the influence of the painter's Cubist-Constructivist period on his own later development as an artist. . . ." -- "Tchelitchew: Paintings, Drawings" by James Thrall Soby (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1942.)