Constantin Kousnetsoff (Russian, 1863 - 1936)

Nymphs in the forest

Oil on canvas, unframed

55.1/8 x 78.7/8in. (unframed)

signed `Kousnetsoff' (lower edge)

Condition: Oil on canvas, not relined, unframed.  Surface dirt and varnish discolouration.  Good impasto.  A few chips and scuffs mainly around edges, would benefit from framing.


Kuznetsov is a Russian painter spending most of his time in France and known primarily for his landscapes.  Born into a wealthy merchant family from Astrakhan, his interest in painting was first influenced by Ivan Shishkin and Victor Borisov.  He studied under Fernand Cormon in Paris.  In 1900 he became an assistant to Ferdinand Humbert and made frequent trips to Brittany and Normandy where he produced some 150 coastal scenes.  He became associated with the Barbizan school, very evident in the current composition. From 1905 he was a member of the Moscow association of artists.  After 1927 he never left Paris during this time his style started to depart from impressionism to a darker palette and sharper contrasts.  Major retrospectives of his work were held in Paris in 1937, 1960's and 1987.  .  A very similar example to this in size and composition was sold at Sotheby's in 2003 for £5000 (hammer).