Saveli Abramovich Sorin, 1878-1953
Saveli Abramovich Sorin, 1878-1953 portrait of anna pavlova in les sylphides oil on canvas the stretcher applied with paper label inscribed V. Dandre, Ivy House 103 by 129 cm., 40 1/2 by 50 3/4 in. Provenance: Victor Dandre, Ivy House, London Born in Polotsk, Vitebsk, in 1873, Sorin enrolled at the Odessa Art School in 1896 where he studied under Kiriak Kostandi until 1899, whence he went on to study in Repin's workshop at the Imperial Academy until 1907. He developed a great reputation as a society portraitist and between 1900 and 1910, many of the leading cultural and social figures of the time sat for him, including Feodor Chaliapin, Anna Akhmatova, and Tamara Karsavina. Sorin participated in the December 1916 Mir Iskusstva exhibition in Moscow, and in 1920 emigrated to Paris shortly afterwards going to New York. Throughout the 1920's and 30's, he continued his successful career as a portrait painter and, amongst others, Balanchine, Mikhail Fokine, various members of the British Royal family, as well as Anna Pavlova, posed for him. In 1922, Sorin came to London, and throughout the summer, Anna Pavlova posed for him at Ivy House, Golders Green, in the study of her husband, Victor Dandre. Ivy House, originally owned by the artist Joseph Malard Turner, was purchased by Dandre in 1914, three years after his exile from Russia in 1911. Pavlova is shown wearing her costume from Les Sylphides, the ballet by Mikhail Fokine with decor and costumes designed by Alexandre Benois, which she danced in Paris in on the 2nd June 1909, at the Theatre du Chatelet during the first season of the Ballet Russes. In a contemporary interview Pavlova described the costume as her favourite (The Daily Mail, 21st July 1909). Pavlova is to be seen in the same costume in Valentin Serov's poster for the first season of the Ballet Russes. There are two other known versions of this painting, both of them in executed in charcoal, gouache and pastel. One in the Musee d'Art National Moderne, Paris, dated 1922; the other dated 1924 and illustrated in S.Sorine:Portraits, Avant-Propos, par Andre Solomon, Berlin, Edition Ganymed, 1929. See also Zhar Ptitsa, No.11, Berlin 1923, p.28, 29. where it is reproduced in black and white and again in the background of a group photograph of of Sorin together with I. Moskvin, Chaliapin, Stanislavski, and W. Kachalov, taken at the exhibition of Russian Art in New York in 1924.