Sketches by Robert Falk

Author Robert Falk
Title Valery Falk (left), Girl in a blue blouse, Poetess Rachel Baumwald, Nude in the chair
Date 20th century
Material Paper, pastel, pencil
Conservator(s) Maria Sapronova
Workshop Paper Сonservation

In August 2017, a famous Moscow collector Svetlana Vyazmenskaya gifted the Personal Collections Department a series of works by Robert Falk (1886-1958), made by the artist in the 1930s, including his six sketches, one of which is double-sided.

Robert Falk's works are represented in the collection of D.S Levenson and S. Vyazmenskaya by portraits, still lifes and nude drawings and cover the period from the 1920s to 1950s. Most of these works are sketches for painted portraits.

The works that came into the museum's possession were in very poor condition. Mounting, made of poor quality materials, caused severe deformation of the paper, the stress on the paper was uneven, the base and the paint layer had numerous visible mechanical damages, there were dirt and dust, on the back there was a mounting tape, and the works were mended by previous owners. In this regard, it was decided to treat the sketches at the paper conservation workshop of the Pushkin State Museum. Thin, very elastic and fragile paper, similar in its characteristics to tracing paper, and the technique in which the sketches are made (pastel, pencil, whitewash) created significant difficulties for the conservation of these works. Conservators eliminated the dirt and deformation of the sheets, removed the mounting tape and filled in the losses of paper.

After the treatments, visitors to the museum are able to see remarkable portrait drawings of the outstanding Russian artist of the 20th century, Robert Falk, one of the founding members of the art society "Jack of Diamonds", which combined in its works the achievements of French post-impressionists, fauvists and cubists with the traditions of the Russian painting school. Falk studied at the studios of K. Yuon and I. Mashkov (1903-1904), at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1905-1910) from V. Serov and K. Korovin. He was a member of associations "World of Art", "Jack of Diamonds", the Moscow Artists Society and The Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. He taught at the State Agricultural Academy of Fine Arts - Vkhutemas - Vkhutein (1918-1928). In 1929-1938 he worked in Paris, having experienced the influence of post-impressionism and primitivism.

Poetess Rachel Baumwald. Before and after conservation

Girl in a blue blouse. Before and after conservation

Valery Falk. Before and after conservation

Nude in the chair. Before and after conservation