N04990 Recto: A Model seated on a Bed c.1937-8
Verso: Nude Figures in a Room
Recto stamped with a seal b.r.
Tempera on paper, 21 7/8 x 15 (55.5 x 38)
Presented anonymously 1939
Prov: Purchased by the donor from Mme A. Jacovleff, the artist's mother, 1939
Lit: Martin Birnbaum, 'Alexandre Jacovleff' in Art in America, XXXIII, 1945, p.81
The study on the verso is rather sketchy, but appears to represent nude figures in a room, with one pushing back the curtains.
N04990, N04991 and N04992 are from a series of experimental studies in a freer, more imaginative style which Jacovleff executed in the last two or three years of his life. His friend and biographer, Martin Birnbaum, records that: 'Early in May, 1938, while he was preparing to leave Paris, he told me that all these sheets of fleeting notes would soon be destroyed and in his studio in Capri he would do the permanent work which he was impatient to begin and which he believed would be the solid lasting achievement of his career.' Shortly afterwards, however, he was stricken with cancer and died.
The seal with which he inscribed this and many of his other works contains the four Chinese characters 'Ya-k'uo-fu hua' meaning 'painted by Ya-k'uo-fu', which approximates the sound of his name.
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.372-3, reproduced p.373