The Owner of the Red Horse. The Gift from Kazimira Basevich to the Russian Museums

On 10th August 2018 Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts opened its halls to a unique exhibition which is devoted to the history behind a famous Leningrad collection of Kazimira Konstantinovna Basevich (1898-1973). The project is distinguished by the versatility of the exhibited works. It consists of more than 70 paintings, drawings, sculptures and selected pieces of decorative and applied arts and furniture from three museum collections: the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum named after V.P. Suckachev, and the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition became a tribute to the memory of 3 generations of the Basevich-Lotaryov family. Their generosity and true patriotism served to enrich the collections of Russian museums with outstanding works of the Russian art. 

The decision to organize this exhibition in our museum was inspired by the gift of Rena Mikhailovna Lotaryova (1932-2018), the grandniece of K.K. Basevich. In 2017 she has bestowed 17 artworks by Russian painters on the State Tretyakov Gallery and 38 paintings and drawings, 4 sculptures and over 200 pieces of decorative and applied arts on the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts.

Kazimira Konstantinovna Basevich, nee Romanovskaya, began to systematically assemble art pieces for her collection in 1945. Its core is represented by the works of such turn of the 20th century Russian artists as A.N. Benois, L.S. Bakst, K.A. Korovin, N.K. Roerich, M.V. Dobuzhinsky, M.A. Vrubel, K.A. Somov, Z.E. Serebryakova, and others. However, her biggest fortune stemmed from her acquaintance with Maria Feodorovna, the widow of K.S. Petrov-Vodkin, who introduced her to Pavel Kuznetsov, Elena Bebutova, Martiros Saryan. It is the works of these artists that made her collection truly famous.  

The masterpiece of Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939) - The Bathing of the Red Horse – spent a long time outside of Russia and was therefore overlooked by the art critics. The painting was finished in 1912, and two years later the artist sent it together with some other works to the Baltic exhibition in Malmö (Sweden). It is only due to the efforts of Petrov-Vodkin’s wife that the painting was returned to Russia in 1950. Maria Feodorovna has given this painting to K.K. Basevich in 1953, when she bought the Portrait of M.F. Petrov-Vodkina (1913) and On the Danube (1912) for her collection. It is worth mentioning that Kazimira Konstantinovna held Petrov-Vodkin’s artwork in especially high regard as it was always full of vitality and emotive charge. Even more surprising was her decision to give 10 paintings, including The Bathing of the Red Horse, to the State Tretyakov Gallery in 1961. Her invaluable gift was appreciated not only by the directors and employees of the gallery, but also by the public at large.

In her will K.K. Basevich appointed the Tretyakov Gallery as the recipient of further 20 art pieces, but she did not wish to part with them while she still lived. In line with the collector’s wishes her niece and heir Galina Innokenteevna Lotaryova, who lived in Sverdlovsk, gave seven of the promised works to the Tretyakov Gallery, and the remaining seventeen items were relinquished by Rena Mikhailovna Lotaryova in 2017.  

The lives of many Romanovskikh-Basevich family members have been connected to Irkutsk, and in 1970 Kazimira Konstantinovna presented 3 artworks to the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum to commemorate it’s 50th foundation anniversary.

Rena Mikhailovna has given the rest of the collector’s artworks, which were not mentioned in her will, to the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition was her dream, and Rena Mikhailovna extensively contributed towards its organization, but to our utmost regret, she passed away before the exhibition could take place.

10 August 2018 - 30 September 2018

Voyevodina str., 5

full price 250 rubles

reduced-fare tickets (pensioners, pupils) 150 rubles


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