DescriptionMIKHAIL ABDULLAYEV (Azerbaijani, 1921-2004)
Stalin Lying in Catafalque, 1953
Oil on fabric laid on cardboard
10-1/2 x 10-1/4 inches (26.7 x 26.0 cm)
Inscribed verso in Cyrillic
Heritage Auction Galleries is pleased to offer a select group of paintings from the most prominent artists of the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan: Mikhail Abdullayev, Yevegni Samsanov, and Boyukaga Aga Mirzazade. They are all from the collection of noted historian Turgut Er, who was a good friend of both Mirzazade and Abdullayev. He was a senior diplomatic representative of the Turkish Republic in Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2002, as well as an author and journalist. Er's collection is prized by the people of Azerbaijan, housed in their museums, and treasured by millions of people.
The collector, Mr. Er, was a personal friend of the artist Mikhail Abdullayev. He recounts a story about the painting, Stalin Lying in Catafalque. Abdullayev told Mr. Er that in 1953 on the night that the Soviet Premier Josef Stalin died, the Russian government took Abdullayev on a special plane from Baku to the Kremlin. Abdullayev was shown the catafalque with Stalin's body lying in state. Abdullayev completed his preliminary work which lasted until the next morning. After Stalin was no longer a revered figure in Russia, Abdullayev hid the painting and the preliminary work we offer here, subsequently selling it to Mr. Er.
MIKHAIL ABDULLAYEV (Azerbaijani, 1921-2004)
Mikhail Abdullayev was an Azerbaijani painter who held the title of "People's Painter" of the former USSR since 1963. He is an alumnus of the Azimzadej Azerbaijan Painting School (1939) and the Surikov Moscow State Painting Institute (1949), and was a member of the Moscow department of the USSR Academy of Arts. Igor Emmanuilovich Grabar, who first discovered his talent, and Sergey Gerasimov were Abdullayev's masters and comrades during his academic education at the Moscow State Institute of Trade. Both praised Abdullayev's capability in their articles for the Iskusstvo Journal. Abdullayev's panel Gorky was exhibited in 1951 at the All Union Art Exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery, where he was presented with a state award and hold grant from Stalin. During his trips to India, Afghanistan, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and other countries from 1956 to 1971, Abdullayev painted many of his most well-known canvases, and he continued to work with Gerasimov at the USSR Academy of Arts from 1958-1963. Three paintings he created in 1964-1965 were sent to the USSR State Gallery for an exhibition dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the victory over Fascism.
According to German artist Walter Bomaka, Abdullayev's works have been widespread in the German Democratic Republic since 1958. Monographic albums of Abdullayev were published by Zeyman in 1959 and 1960, which were the first examples of modern Soviet descriptive art. On November 14th, 1966, there was an organized exhibition of his creative works in Berlin which traveled to Leipzig and continued until the end of March 1967. In 1969, Abdullayev was presented the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill, and friendship among peoples of the world for a series of paintings entitled Through India. Other winners of this award include Martin Luther King, Jr. (1965), Mother Teresa (1968), Andre Malraux (1971), Jonas Salk (1974), Nelson Mandela (1978), Indira Gandhi (1983), and Yasser Arafat (1987).
Abdullayev's paintings have been exhibited in Paris, London, Berlin, Montreal, Prague, Budapest, Belgrade, Sophia, Warsaw, Delhi, Cairo, and Brussels. Abdullayev was also the designer of an artistic panel in the Nizami Station of the Baku Metro. His paintings were exhibited in the Moscow State Museum of the Orient, The Tretyakov Gallery (The National Museum of Russian Fine Art), and are currently on display in the Azerbaijan State Museum of Art.
Estimate: $7,500 - $9,000.
Pin hole to upper center edge, paint loss along bottom edge, two creases across lower left corner.
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‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.
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