Alexey & Sergey Tkachev
Msta River at the Academic Dacha (1980)
The painting “Msta River at the Academic Dacha” (1980, oil on canvas, 92 x 110 cm), from the collection of the Art Russe Foundation, shines with the serenity of pink and blue tints of the sky and clouds reflecting in the water and accentuated by the cool green of trees on the banks of the river. However, this canvas by the legendary Soviet creative tandem – the brothers Alexei (1925) and Sergei (1922) Tkachev – is interesting not only for its impressionist-like liberal use of colour.
The idyllic landscape is real. It is located in a place of special importance for Russian culture. The Academic Dacha (or Akademichka) opened on July 22, 1884, “on forty dessiatines adjacent to the land of the peasants of the village of Maly Gorodok” (in what is today the Tver region, near Vyshny Volochok) as a summer practice place for poor students of the Imperial Academy of Arts. The Academy received the land under a long-term lease agreement with the Ministry of Railways, and the place was initially named the Vladimir-Mariinsky Shelter, in honour of the President of the Academy of Arts, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and Empress Maria Alexandrovna (widow of Emperor Alexander II).
Without exaggeration, this is a place where classical Russian art was being created. Before the revolution, Ilya Repin, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Valentin Serov, Isaac Levitan, Nicholas Roerich, Apollinary Vasnetsov and many other famous Russian artists worked at the Academic Dacha. After the October Revolution, a pioneer camp was set up on the site, but in 1948 it was returned to the Academy, becoming, after reconstruction, one of the recognized and popular centres of artistic life in the Soviet Union in the 1970s-1980s. In 1964, the Academic Dacha has been named after Ilya Repin. A monument to the artist (sculptor: Oleg Komov) was erected here to commemorate his 130th anniversary.
The importance of the Academic Dacha for Russian art – for the preservation and development of the traditions of Russian realistic art – is difficult to overestimate. This place is often referred to as “Russian Barbizon”, and it is quite possible that most of the best landscapes of the 1960-1980s, glorifying the beauty of Russian nature, were created right here.
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.