Silvestr Fedosievich Schedrin, 1791-1830
Silvestr Fedosievich Schedrin, 1791-1830 veduta laziale inscribed in Russian on reverse S. Schedrin, 1830 oil on canvas 97 by 114 cm., 38 by 45 in. At the beginning of the 19th century Russian artists turned to Italy for inspiration and subject matter. This was part of a European-wide fashion for Italy and its culture, which many saw as the cradle of European civilization. Silvestr Schedrin left Russia for Italy in 1818, one of the first Russian artists to do so. He was particularly enchanted by small fishing villages, ruins and provincial mediterranean ways of life. Later, the next generation of Russian artists, such as Bogoliubov and Aivazovsky, were to follow in Schedrin's footsteps, often painting in the same locations. Schedrin suffered from increasingly bad health in the last years of his life, but despite this he continued to paint throughout 1830, the year of his death. The offered painting is likely to be among one of his last major canvasses. The latest recorded picture dating to 1830 is an interior of the Golistyn House in Rome, where the artist stayed as a guest in the Winter of 1929/30 (Interior of the Golitsyn House, Rome, 33 by 41 cm, State Hermitage Museum). The offered lot appears to be unsigned, although the reverse is inscribed in Russian with the artist's name and dated 1930 (see detail). In the spring of 1930 Schedrin decided to travel South to his favourite city, Naples. By this date many of his compatriots had left Rome and this strengthened his resolve to leave. Although the scene of the offered lot has not been identified, judging by the vegetation it is likely to be an area to the South of Rome, possibly even a capriccio on Lake Nemi, which was a popular subject for artists of the time.