Lot 13. Henryk Siemiradzki 1843 – 1902
THE SWORD DANCE
signed in Latin l.l.
oil on canvas
40 by 73.5cm, 15 3/4 by 29in.
Exhibited: Warsaw, Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych, Henryk Siemiradzki 1843–1902, 1939
Estimate 80,000-120,000 GBP. Sothebys. 11/28/17
The Sword Dance is one of Siemiradzki’s most recognisable compositions. The whereabouts of the original, and largest, version dating from 1879-80 is unknown. In 1881, the collector Kozma Soldatenkov commissioned another version (120 by 225cm), which after his death was given to the Rumyantsev Museum and is now in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery. Another, dating from 1887 and measuring 77 by 155cm was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2011, establishing a new record for the artist at auction. It is interesting to note that the artist never executed exact copies and that each painting is distinct. In the present work, for example, the artist has varied the direction in which the dancer is facing.