(St. Petersburg 1887 - Paris 1938)
Portrait of Prince Luigi Amedeo de Savoia, Duke of the Abruzzi
Signed and dated A. Iacovleff / 1933 in red chalk at the lower right centre.
559 x 439 mm. (22 x 17 1/4 in.) [sheet]
In 1924 Yakovlev was invited by the industrialist André Citröen to join ‘La Croisière Noire’ - a motorized expedition, sponsored by Citröen and led by Georges-Marie Haardt, to cross the African continent from Algeria to Madagascar – as its official artist. Between 1924 and 1925 the artist made hundreds of paintings and drawings of the people, animals and landscapes that the expedition encountered on its route, which were later developed into finished works in his studio in Paris. These were exhibited, to considerable critical acclaim, at the Galerie Jean Charpentier and the Pavillon de Marsan at the Louvre. In 1928 Yakovlev sent an exhibition of his work to Moscow, and three years later he joined a second Citröen expedition; the trans-Asiatic ‘La Croisière Jaune’ from Beirut to Peking. Departing in April 1931, the expedition crossed Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Himalayas and the Gobi Desert before arriving in Peking in February 1932. The artist’s painting and drawings from ‘La Croisière Jaune’ were again shown at the Galerie Jean Charpentier in Paris in 1933. The following year Yakovlev accepted a position as the director of the painting and drawing department of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he remained until 1937. Although exhibitions of his work were held in Washington, D.C., New York, Charleston and Pittsburgh, the artist missed Europe. Not long after his return to Paris, Yakovlev died of stomach cancer, a few weeks before his fifty-first birthday.