Still Life Lilacs in a Glass Jar (1930)
President of the USSR Academy of Arts and winner of four Stalin Prizes Alexander Gerasimov (1881 – 1963) could remain in the history of art exclusively as the main portrait painter of the Stalin era. His portraits of Soviet party leaders, military leaders and artists largely shaped the collective image of that time. Gerasimov was considered as the founder of ‘heroic realism’, a special manner of depicting revolutionary heroes as colossi of epic proportions. It is possible that Alexander Gerasimov’s very own socialist realism, which was close and understandable to the commissioners of his portraits, emerged from an incredible combination of academic traditions with romantic stylistics.
The collection of the Art Russe Foundation includes three works by Alexander Gerasimov, representing a different direction in the artist’s work: the impressionistically liberal floral still lifes far removed from officialdom. Not unlike Gerasimov’s landscapes, they have been very popular among contemporary collectors both during the artist’s life and today.
Peonies (1931) and Still Life with Roses (1947) grace the labels of Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Art Russe Collection vintages 2015 and 2016, respectively. The intense colours and generous strokes trigger a near-physical sensation of the weight of the petals and the victorious energy of blossoming flowers. A label of the 2018 vintage features Lilacs in a Glass Jar (1930, canvas, oil 49×39 cm), a still life with a subtle colour scheme devoid of excessive expression and additional details that distinguish the other two works; it is laconic and ‘more transparent’, there is more freshness and poetry – it is perhaps the best floral still life by Alexander Gerasimov.
90% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc
Soil type: Sand & Clay
Harvesting: 100% manual
Vinification methods: Soft, slow maceration and fermentation pumping over Malolactic fermentation in barrels
Aging: 20 months – 100% New Radoux Super Fine Blend
Cultural practices: Reasoned viticulture (lutte raisonnée), Manual vineyard work, Mechanical weed control
The nose is striking, certainly distinctive, with grilled blackberry, blueberry and black olive; quite spicy and exotic with notes of turmeric, crushed cardamom, cloves and and fennel seeds.
On the palette has red and blue fruits: wild strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and red cherries.
A very polished style, with more grippy tannins than in other vintages. Texturally feels restrained and sinewy rather than fat, while the finish is all pepper and tannin. Very dynamic and energetic.