Youri Pavlovitch ANNENKOFF


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Youri ANNENKOFF (also known as Georges ANNENKOFF)

Price of a painting signed Annenkoff: 4,000 – 5,000,000 €

Artist’s status for the sale of a signed drawing or a watercolour: 200 – 100,000€.

Estimated price for a print: 100 – 3,000€.

If you would like to have a painting of the painter’s work appraised, our painting experts are at your disposal for a free appraisal.

The Annenkov family and political influence

Yuri Annenkov comes from a family with a well-known name in the 19th century. His grandfather was known, among other things, as the publisher of the Russian poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin. His father, Pavel Annenkov, stands out for a completely different reason: he was part of the populist revolutionary movement “The Will of the People ” which was behind the plan to assassinate Tsar Alexander II in 1881.

Forced into exile, the Annenkov family was not allowed to resettle in Saint Petersburg until 1892, after a supervised stay in the town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, where Yuri was to be born in 1889.

His training, made complex by his family background and his father’s connections, took place in public schools. In 1908 he was enrolled at the Saint Petersburg Fine Arts School. His parallel artistic apprenticeship took place in two stages: in a workshop with the landscape painter Savely Seidenberg, where he worked alongside Marc Chagall. As well as in the studio of the Polish-Russian painter Ian Tsionglinski, a graduate of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.

Very early on Yuri Annenkov became passionate about drawing. During his youth, he had many exchanges with the artist Ilya Répine, a famous leader of the realist artistic movement in Russia.

An artist of all talents

The trip to France enabled him to develop artistic affinities and to frequent and study under the supervision of emblematic figures of the Parisian scene: with Félix Vallotton, a figure of the symbolist and Nabis movement in 1911, and Maurice Denis.

Although Yuri Annenkov’s artistic talents were manifold, on the one hand he contributed to the illustration of books, and on the other hand he produced sets for the theatre from 1914 on his return to Saint Petersburg. He tried his hand at directing in 1919 and 1920, when the Bolshevik government commissioned a show.

The portraits he makes are those of the main figures of Bolshevism, notably Trotsky, the revolutionary communist, whom he knows personally through his contacts paternelles ; all of whom he endeavours to reconstruct the individualised figure behind the political one. These portraits were commissioned for the celebration of the Red Army.

He also produced portrait paintings of personalities of his time, such as the writer Maxim Gorky, a friend of Annenkov since the 1900s: they were painted between 1906 and 1921, and were compiled in 1922 in a book of Portraits. These faces were described as “striking” by the contemporaries of his time.

His portraits are stylised and formally borrow from cubism. The line and the features are synthetic, which Annenkov plays on in order to render with sharpness the personality, almost the essence, of his models.

He also produces assemblages that borrow from the avant-garde Dada movement.

Film recognition

Throughout his multifaceted career, painting was not left behind, yet recognition for Annenkov emerged  from the world of film.

Although his career as a painter continued after 1924 when he left Germany and moved to Paris, where he lived until his death in 1974, he was praised and received notable recognition as a costume designer and set designer for the cinema. When he moved to Paris, he collaborated successfully with great directors such as Abel Gance.

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