Drawings, Watercolours and Prints | 25 April 2013

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Lot no.


Andrey Avinoff (1884-1948) - The Fall of Atlantis,

Sold for £8500

Est: £15000–20000

Andrey Avinoff (1884-1948)

The Fall of Atlantis,

23 original illustrations for George V. Golokhvastoff's poem, black and white chalks with watercolour, pencil, some heightened with body white, 3 measure c.67 x 50.5cm. (26 1/4 x 19 3/4 in), the others each c.50.5 x 38cm. (19 3/4 x 15 in), all unframed, but uniformly mounted and neatly presented in two matching grey cloth drop-back boxes, [c.1938]; with a self-portrait of the artist, pencil on wove paper, initialled AA lower right, 49 x 37cm (19 1/4 x 14 1/2 in), and a group of 4 sheets of preliminary pencil designs for The Fall of Atlantis , v.s., largest sheet c.51 x 38cm (20 x 15 in), all unframed (28) ⁂ Andrey Avinoff (American, 1884-1948) was born in the Ukraine, and had an early interest in entomological fauna. He worked as a Russian diplomat and emigrated to the United States in 1917 following the Communist Revolution. He worked initially as an assistant curator of entomology at the Carnegie Museum in 1924, and was promoted to director of the Museum in 1926, where he worked until 1946. Among his associates at the Carnegie Museum was the Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. Avinoff also established himself as one of the world's greatest butterfly collectors, and spent his spare time travelling through the mountainous areas of Europe and Asia in search of them. His initial collection of some eighty thousand specimens was appropriated by the Soviet government, but while in America Avinoff managed to build up a near duplicate collection. Following Avinoff's health conditions in his later life, he moved to New York and resumed his interest in painting. The Fall of Atlantis is arguably his most well known series. It is said that when Avinoff first read George V. Golokhvastoff's poem he was so impressed that he offered to provide artwork at no charge. He was also recorded as saying "the poem is a rather tremendous creation of some two hundred and fifty pages and is far more involved that Paradise Lost … ". The first publication of Avinoff's illustrations in 1938 had 19 plates listed, thus one can presume that within the current lot there are 4 extra illustrations that were not included in the original publication.

Drawings, Watercolours and Prints

Thursday 25 April 2013, 1.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street


23rd April 9.30am - 5.30pm
24th April 9.30am - 8.00pm
25th April from 9.30am

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