«100 years later. Kyriak Kostandi»
The Odesa Fine Arts Museum houses the largest collection of works by Kyriak Kostandi: about two hundred paintings and graphics, 14 of which are on permanent exposition. They are an integral part of the museum’s exposition, so we do not transfer them to the exhibition halls. In this project, we exhibit his works and archival materials from the funds of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum.
The painting “Geese” is an example of the creative process of Kyriak Kostandi. The sketch of the landscape was made in a country house near Vinnytsia, where after the wedding the young couple Kostandi spent the summer. Later, beginning in 1888, several versions of the painting were painted – with a girl on the lawn and a girl on the hill, and certainly with a goose in the foreground. The artist’s wife Euphrosynia left memories of having to buy a pair of geese at the bazaar, and Kyriak studied them in his studio during the Christmas holidays, performing many sketches of geese in various poses.
The paintings “Geese” were a constant success. Viktor Vasnetsov told Odesa artists: “Take care of your Kostandi. He is, in my opinion, a Barbizon. I can’t forget his “Geese”, so much sun there “
The Odesa Fine Arts Museum keeps a version of the painting “Geese” of 1905, which is exhibited at the exhibition “100 years later. Kyriak Kostandi “, as well as sketches for the picture.
Sketches for the painting “Maundy Thursday” were written in the Pskov province (1884). In 1889-1890 the first version of the picture was created. Kostandi often repeated works whose plots were close to him and were in demand among connoisseurs. These paintings include “Maundy Thursday”.
Among the known variants of the picture:
1889-1890 (canvas, oil) – belonged to the collector D. Khmyrov, Odesa
1894 (canvas, oil) – exhibited at the II exhibition of Society of South Russian Artists, where it was bought by Odesa collector Ignatii Wolf;
1904 (canvas on cardboard, pastel) – is in the permanent exhibition of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum (purchased from the daughter of the artist Seraphima Kostandi in 1957;
1905-1906 (canvas, oil) – belonged to Academician Nikodim Kondakov, since 1913 – in the collection of the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg)
Painting from the permanent exhibition:
Maundy Thursday in the North. 1904. Canvas on cardboard, pastel. 55х45,5. It was bought from the daughter of the artist Seraphima Kostandi, Odesa, 1957.
In 1915, Kyriak Kostandi completed the painting “Dating. Lilac “according to the sketch of the previous year. The plot is a love meeting of young people in costumes of the 1860s among the blossoming lilacs. The artist seeks to move away from the present and plunge into antiquity. Real vintage dresses for models were provided by the artist Boris Egiz, who inherited them from his grandmother.
The Odesa Fine Arts Museum keeps sketches for the painting “Dating. Lilac”, presented at the exhibition.
Photo of the completed painting, stored in a private collection – from the book “Kyriak Konstantinovich Kostandi. Artist and human. Memoirs about father of the son of Mikhail Kyriakovich Kostandi”.
Etudes for the painting “Early Spring” were written in 1890 in the country, near the Big Fountain near the monastery. The monk walking down the path from the monastery gates is Father Pimen, a Greek schema monk.
The work was exhibited at the VII exhibition of the Society of Southern Russian Artists (TURH, translated from Russian) in 1896, where it was bought by Odesa collector and philanthropist Alexander Rusov.
At the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900, the painting was awarded a grand bronze medal.
At the request of experts, Kostandi repeated “Early Spring” several times. The painting, which was re-painted in 1912 for Vyacheslav Snizhkov, is now in the permanent exhibition of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum.
The first version of the work from the collection of Alexander Rusov, also previously belonged to the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, and is now – in the collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv.
In 1901, Kyriak Kostandi painted “The Family”: against the backdrop of the monastery’s landscape, the artist’s wife with her youngest daughter in her arms, with older girls and two boys playing around. To depict the whole family, Kostandi portrayed himself – the artist sits on the left and writes a sketch. As their last son, Mykhailo was born in the autumn of that year, a baby carriage with a baby is depicted on the right.
Sketches of the painting are stored in the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, and the work itself is in a private collection.
Photo from the book “Kyriak Konstantinovich Kostandi. Artist and human. Memoirs about the father of the son of Mikhail Kyriakovich Kostandi».