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Expert tale - Ongoing
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Collection Azadovsky and Russian museum
Constantine Azadovsky 17.03.2011 23:00 Tatiana Voltskaya
Marina Timasheva: Most of the museums of fine art created on the basis of private collections. Museum workers fondly remembered those who at various times passed their treasures to museums. But during the life of the collectors of their relationship with the museums is not always smooth. One example - a relationship known literary critic, translator, Constantine Azadovsky with the Russian Museum. Says Tatiana Voltskaya.
Tatiana Voltskaya: Famed museum doubted the authenticity of works belonging to the well-known collector and collector questioned the integrity of the museum staff. It would be a completely private story, if not powerful industry counterfeit paintings, whose existence today, everyone knows. And if a problem exists, then the question of criterion estimates the quality of expertise that museums do, it is not private. Said Konstantin Azadovsky.
Konstantin Azadovsky: My collection goes back to the congregation of my father. In 2008 I decided to leave two small pieces. Came to the dealer, but said:'Constantine Markovic, I must appeal to the Russian Museum.' A few days later the man phoned me and said that, unfortunately, both things considered'falshaka.' Alexander Benois - watercolor to the play by Moliere, and a small gouache Sudeikina 1911. Let me explain that the official examinations, it seems, since 2007, nor the Russian Museum, Tretyakov Gallery or give no right, they give the advisory opinion, but the essence remains the same. I asked the official conclusion and a few days to me by my contractor brought two papers. When I read the conclusion (I myself am a professional art critic), I, as they say, dumbfounded. One thing was subjected to examination in the glass as I saw the assertion that the signature of Benoit, as well as the signature Sudeikina not correspond to reality. The experts of the Russian Museum (I was aware) have no right to give handwriting conclusion - if in doubt should refer to specialists. Finally, they are obliged, getting to study an object, compare it with the so-called'reference sample'and to refer these specimens to which they are compared. In short, was nothing like that. And I wrote a letter to the deputy director of Peter asking again to return to this issue - after all, there are professional mistakes. The answer shocked me completely. There appeared some mysterious phthalocyanine pigments, allegedly found in gouache Sudeikina, and it was clarified that these pigments are used only in painting since the late 60's in the Soviet Union, therefore, can not this thing relate to 1911. But, good gracious, photos survived, which in our apartment, these things depend much earlier! How could this be something? In addition, there is the so-called Foundation, for every examination -'provenance', then there is a story collection, to which primarily addresses the specialist. I'provenance'that passed. Into account nothing was taken. And I turned to independent experts, to the best handwriting analysis in the expert department of MIA. Assessment specialists said: Benoit signature and other records in this watercolor fully comply with the reference samples. I turned on the phthalocyanine pigments, in a special chemical laboratory were analyzed, I turned to an official examiner of the Theatre Museum, where, incidentally, and kept those same reference samples. This - the script. I'm in some kind of confusion. Nevertheless, wishing to return the good name of the collection of my father, I wrote a detailed letter to the Minister of Culture Avdeev, for which received a response in three or four lines: we deal with these issues will not. And then I realized that I have no other protection other than publicity. The Tretyakov Gallery, incidentally, found the strength a few years ago admit that dozens of expert advice that they gave were incorrect, abandon them and revise them. Russian Museum of extraordinary perseverance.
Tatiana Voltskaya: After this story to me, of course, was only one thing - go to the Russian Museum. Says senior researcher of the Russian Museum Natalia Solomatina.
Natalia Solomatina: In the theater there was a need for repeated practice and very often do not repeat the author sketches. The sketch should be in costume, the wizard, which makes shoes for the actor. Moreover, in the Russian Museum, Benois heritage is authenticity of which were used for such ancillary theater objectives. Therefore, to determine authorship, of course, use of standards - those that do not cause the slightest doubt. Russian Museum has a very large collection of theatrical works of Aleksandr Nikolaevich Benois, with a very large time range, we have the opportunity to a large sample of comparative material. And examination revealed a number of mismatches of style, in particular, handwriting, because we asked for help to the Russian National Library, which also confirmed our doubts.
Tatiana Voltskaya: Question about signature clears the head of the Division of Technological Research of the Russian Museum Sergei Sirri.
Sergei Sirri: legal graphology is fundamentally different from the historical handwriting, as in the case study of historical handwriting handwriting of the artist in different times and the connection with the handwriting pattern. In our department was selected by the mass of material it is for Alexander Nikolayevich Benoit, have been studied especially the handwriting of the artist at different times, and it can be argued that the test sheet, which belongs to Konstantin Markovich, the handwriting is different from the reference samples.
Tatiana Voltskaya: As for this pigment?
Sergei Sirri: As for the blue pigment - yes, alas, in this case by circumstantial evidence, we have identified the presence of this pigment. We were wrong. Well, then, do. The fact that a very rare examination is carried out in one some kind of sign. Blue pigment, which seemed suspicious to us, there was only one of the links. With work Sudeikina had a problem yet and art, as well as associated with the composition of paper with handwriting on the reverse.
Tatiana Voltskaya: While acknowledging some mistake, Sergei Sirri recalls another case - a collection of so-called'Peter's kids.'
Sergei Sirri: She went to the Russian Museum in the early XX century from the collection Argutinsky-Dolgoruky, and the year 1974, the first popular in literature and among scholars as a collection of drawings of Peter's time artist Fyodor Vasilyev. In 2000, a large complex to work on these figures, and found that most of them performed at a later paper, on most later forged signatures. And this collection was derived from the category of full-scale drawings of Peter's time. Scientists have just then appeared on the argument that perhaps this is a deliberate falsification, as in the early twentieth century interest in Peter's time was very high.
Tatiana Voltskaya: Returning to the collection Azadovsky, Sergei Sirri notes that the error is not insured one, and that critics of the Russian Museum did not call these works fakes - they just doubted their authenticity.