DescriptionPROPERTY FROM THE WICHITA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
LEON GASPARD (American, 1882-1964)
Russian Girl in the Czar's Chapel
Oil on linen laid on board
30-1/2 x 17-1/4 inches (77.5 x 43.8 cm)
Signed lower left: Leon Gaspard
Although Leon Gaspard found commercial success with his paintings of Pueblo Indians in Taos, where he and his wife had settled in 1919, it was the peasant subjects of his native Russia that fueled his imagination throughout his career. Born in 1882 outside of Moscow, Gaspard as a boy traveled with his fur-trader father throughout Russia, China, Mongolia, Tibet, and northern Africa, becoming fascinated with ethnography. His early art training in Vitebsk introduced him and fellow student Marc Chagall to Post-Impressionist color, which he coupled with an attention to draftsmanship after studying in 1901 at the Académie Julian. By the 1910s, Gaspard had developed his signature composition: vividly colored, densely populated landscapes with Russian peasants parading at festivals, caravanning through the snow, or gathering at the town market. Russian Girl in the Czar's Chapel stands apart in his oeuvre as a full-length portrait. Centered in front of an iconostasis, the girl, resembling a matryoshka doll, models her traditional costume with babushka and flower-embroidered skirt. Gaspard accentuates the subject's beauty through his bright palette, and his intentional framing of her head in the middle of an icon panel suggests his reverence for the Russian people at large.
Visibly very good condition; not examined outside of frame; frame dimensions: 36 x 23".
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