At the vegetable stall (1932)
Aristarkh Lentulov (1882-1943) was to become a priest like his father. But the boy’s overwhelming desire to paint (which was pretty much all he did during his classes at the theology school) led to his mother’s decision to get him transferred to the Penza Art School. In 1906, the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts rejected Lentulov’s enrolment application: the green shadows in his portrait of a model were too radical for the examiners. Instead, he joins the art studio of the Academy professor Dmitri Kardovski, participates in exhibitions and, soon enough, the famous critic, artist and member of the World of Art movement Alexandre Benois will write this about his works: ‘His paintings sing and delight the soul … His distinct and joyful talent should be appreciated and cherished.’
In 1910, Lentulov was among the organizers of the Jack of Diamonds exhibition. The title was provocative: ‘ace of diamonds’ was used to describe the multi-coloured textile rhombus on the back of convicts’ uniforms, while ‘jack’ evoked a gang of Moscow swindlers who fashioned themselves after the protagonists of Ponson du Terrail’s novel ‘The Jack of Hearts Club’. But it was not only the title that shocked the visitors: the exhibitors, among them Mikhail Larionov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Alexander Kuprin and Natalia Goncharova, did not confine themselves to the canons of realism, fearlessly experimenting with composition, colour, form, and perspective.
Following his studies in France, Lentulov returns to Russia and becomes an active member of the Jack of Diamonds art movement, soon to become one of the most significant phenomena in 20th century art in Russia. He constantly searches for new creative approaches, studies ancient Russian art, icons, church architecture and folklore.
In 1918, while pursuing his work as a theatre artist, Lentulov is commissioned by the government to decorate the Theatre Square and the streets of Moscow for the anniversary of the October Revolution. In the 1930s, he travels around the Soviet Union, and the theme of industrial architecture begins to prominently feature in his art. Step by step, Lentulov sets out to ‘de-cubize’ the forms in his paintings, experimenting this time with realism. One of the labels of Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Art Russe Collection 2018 is decorated with a reproduction of a painting from this period, ‘At the Vegetable Stall’ (1932, oil on canvas, 120×180), from the collection of the Art Russe Foundation. This is Lentulov at the height of his abilities. And while the painting is absolutely realistic, the figures and faces of elegant customers and the saleswoman in a playful hat are still ‘sculpted’ with strong colour shadows, and bright vegetables and fruits filling the stall form a pattern reminiscent of the artist’s bold experiments with futurism and cubism.
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.