(St. Petersburg 1887 - Paris 1938)
Portrait of a Black Man, South Carolina
Signed, inscribed and dated A. Iacovleff / Camden / 1935 at the lower centre.
660 x 487 mm. (26 x 19 1/4 in.)
In 1938, a number of other drawings of Black subjects in South Carolina – possibly counting the present sheet - were included in an exhibition of Yakovlev’s paintings and drawings at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. A review of that exhibition praised the ‘remarkable creative ability, an amazing productive power, great technical skill, incredible versatility as to style and the use of artistic medium, superb draftsmanship, and a cosmopolitan understanding, sympathy, and outlook’ of the works displayed, adding that ‘Iacovleff’s ability as a draftsman is best seen in his drawings, where with a few bold strokes of his pencil or crayon, he outlines a head, an arm, a body, or a piece of drapery.’
The present sheet was formerly in the possession of the artist’s younger sister, Alexandra Yakovleva (1889-1979), an opera singer who, with her mother, escaped Russia after the Revolution and settled with her brother in Paris. From 1949 until her death thirty years later, Yakovleva taught at the Conservatoire Russe Serge Rachmaninoff in Paris.
Acquired from her by a private collector in 1978
Private collection, Rhode Island.