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Pierre Dmitrienko 1925-1974
T00325 La Forêt pétrifiée
(The Petrified Forest) 1956
Inscribed 'DMITRIENKO | 1956' b.l. and 'P. Dmitrienko | 1956. 1 "La Forêt Petrifiée" 'on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 51 1/4 x 63 3/4 (130 x 162)
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1960
Prov: Purchased by a French private collector from the artist through the Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris, 1956; sold by him to the CAS, again through the Galerie Lucien Durand, 1958
Exh: CAS: Recent Acquisitions, Arts Council Gallery, London, February-March 1959 (16); CAS: The First Fifty Years 1910-60, Tate Gallery, April-May 1960 (153)
Lit: Georges Boudaille, 'Visite d'Atelier: Pierre Dmitrienko' in Cimaise, VII, January-March 1960, pp.68-75
The artist wrote (letter of June 1960) that this picture was painted during the winter of 1956 - the first winter after his move to the country. There are two other versions of this theme; one was still in his studio, the other belonged to M. Rieux in Paris. The one in his possession was the same size as this canvas, but the other was slightly larger (130 x 195cm).
These pictures were inspired by the winter of 1956, above all by a forest of dead trees and rocks, which was covered with ice and snow and, as it were, petrified. This was in the neighbourhood of the village of Dieudonné (Oise).
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.174-5, reproduced p.174