STILL LIFE WITH CANDLESTICK AND PEAR
Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky
Signed in Cyrillic and dated 1946 t.r., oil on canvas. The offered lot Still Life with a Candlestick and Pears was a gift from the artist to his Chinese friend, Fu Bingchang. Fu, a revolutionary, politician, and a diplomat, was Chiang Kaishek's last Ambassador to Soviet Russia, and he was stationed in Moscow for six years, from 1943 to 1949. Fu was introduced to Konchalovsky in 1943, and from that time the two men formed a friendship, meeting sometimes at the artist's studio or at Fu's dacha in Udernaya on the outskirts of Moscow. Other guests at Udernaya include Boris Pasternak and Alexey Tolstoy. In August 1945 after the end of the Second World War, life for ordinary Russians was still difficult. When Fu managed to procure some deliciously ripe Chinese pears from Mainland China and presented them to Konchalovsky as a small gift, the artist could not resist capturing the fruit on canvas before savouring its flavour. The result was Still Life with Candlestick and Pears.