A one of a kind graphic etching ethnographic piece by the listed Russian artist Oleg Andreev 'Quadrille Dance' circa 1985. Representation of Siberian folklore.
Oleg Alexeevitch Andreev (1927-) is known for his ethnographic visual works, representing cultural traditions and folklore of different parts of Russia and the former Soviet Union, including Siberia, the Arctic, the Caucasus, Centra Asia, and many more. He uses a variety of media - color chalk, pencil, watercolor - but is most famous for his one-of-a-kind etchings. Andreev was a member of Russian Academy of Arts and previously Soviet Academy of Arts. His works are featured in museums and are rarely available outside of Russia.
The offered etching 'Quadrille Dance' is a part of of Andreev's most prominent work - a series of unique etchings 'Ust-Tsilem Gorka' which he began creating in 1982. Ust-Tsilma is a village in the Komi Republic in Russia and one of the oldest inhabited places in European Siberia. Andreev was preoccupied with preserving the area's culture by creating its visual representations. He also initiated the opening of an art gallery in Ust-Tslima.
This etching depicts a traditional square dance, Quadrille, which is popular in many parts of Russia and which shows a great regional variety. The etching's numerous characters are engaging in a dance, observing, and walking nearby. One of the central characters is playing balalaika - a traditional Russian stringed musical instrument with a characteristic triangular wooden, hollow body and three strings. The details here are truly amazing. One can clearly see the moods and feelings on people's faces: lively young women dancing, a smiling balalaika player, a sad old man standing in the middle, a little girl cheering from the sidelines, and a solemn looking couple walking nearby. Andreev meticulously depicted the diverse elements of the traditional clothes worn by the characters. Other details also add to the ethnographic feel of the work: the nearby river with a cargo boat, traditional roofs of houses, the wildflowers.
The etching is signed by the artist and has an inscription in Russian: 'Celebration in Ust-Tsilem Gorka. Dances, 1-9', indicating its position in the Ust Tsilma series. The back of the etching has an appraisal certificate (in Russian) from the Moscow Artist House from 1987, valuing the work at 1,000 (thousand) rubles. At that time 1 ruble was equivalent to 1 USD.
The etching is framed in wood and matted, but both will probably need to be replaced as the matting has separated from the etching in a few places and warped - please see the pictures carefully. Also please note some age related discoloration.
Size of the frame: 16" x 12.25" (40.6 cm x 31 cm).
Size of the etching inside the frame: 12" x 9.25" (30.4 cm x 23.5 cm).