An old unframed watercolor of an Asiatic-looking man in traditional clothing, with pencil writing in Russian at right including the date 19.II.1920. A Russian-speaker informs me that there is no name of an artist, but that the subject is identified as a Buryat. I take from online information: "The Buryat people are descended from various Siberian and Mongol peoples that inhabited the Lake Baikal Region including Kurykans, who are also the ancestors of the Siberian Turkic speaking Yakuts. Then in the 13th century the Mongolians came up and subjugated the various Buryat tribes (Bulgachin, Kheremchin) around Lake Baikal. The name "Buriyad" is mentioned as one of the forest people for the first time in The Secret History of the Mongols (possibly 1240). It says Jochi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, marched north to subjugate the Buryats in 1207. The Buryats lived along the Angara River and its tributaries at this time. Meanwhile, their component, Barga, appeared both west of Baikal and in northern Buryatia's Barguzin valley. Linked also to the Bargas were the Khori-Tumed along the Arig River in eastern Khövsgöl Province and the Angara. A Tumad rebellion broke out in 1217, when Genghis Khan allowed his viceroy to seize 30 Tumad maidens. Genghis Khan's commander Dorbei the Fierce of the Dörbeds smashed them in response. The Buryats joined the Oirats challenging the imperial rule of the Eastern Mongols during the Northern Yuan period in the late 14th century." The work, laid on old card, measures 7 3/4" by 5 3/4" inside the mat opening. It is in good condition considering its age, with some discoloration and puckering around the edges, but essentially it needs only a new mat and frame. During the 1920's and 1930's, artists like Alexander Iacovleff (1887-1938) traveled widely in remote Central Asia as transportation options improved, creating artworks during the voyage that captured the exotic scenery and inhabitants. Iacovleff's works bring enormous sums at auction today. This watercolor is in that vein----a survivor of a time and place now passed.
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