The PianistEnlarge image

The Pianist, 1915

Liubov Popova
Russian, 1889 - 1924
oil on canvas
106.5 x 88.7 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada (no. 14930)

Liubov Popova, the daughter of a wealthy Russian merchant, spent several months in Paris during the winter of 1912–13. In this grand composition, the artist combines the influences of Cubism and Futurism in a complex and dynamic fragmentation of the human figure. She demonstrates great confidence by tackling a major, large composition based on an abstract pattern of intersecting curved and rectilinear planes. Further drama arises from the interplay of black-and-white tones and the texturally rich surface that includes sand and conveys the illusion of wood.


Popova family, Moscow, Russia [1]

1957 1966/05/03
Victor C. Moore (19182000), Kingston, ON, Canada, purchased from the Popova family through George Costakis (19131990) [2]


National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Victor C. Moore [3]


[1] Canadian diplomat Victor C. Moore purchased the painting in 1957 in Moscow from a relative of Liubov Popova. George Costakis, a Russian citizen of Greek descent and collector of Russian avant-garde art who was then working for the Canadian embassy in Moscow, acted as an intermediary in the sale [letter from Victor C. Moore to Sylvia Giroux, collections and research, NGC, dated June 17, 1981, NGC curatorial file].

[2] See note [1].

[3] Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].

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