Marie Marevna was the daughter of a Polish nobleman and a Russian actress, from whom she acquired the name, Vorobieff. Her initial studies took place in Moscow and continued in Italy in 1911. It was there that she came to know Maxim Arshile Gorky, a great influence and encouraging force in her development. He convinced her to change her name to Marevna, which came from a Russian fairy tale about a sea princess. In 1912, when she traveled to Paris, she became acquainted with the Russian writer, Ilya Ehrenbourg, whose friendship placed her in the midst of the artistic milieu with the likes of Picasso, Modigliani, L’hote, Gris, Cocteau and other members of the École de Paris. In constant company of such influential contemporaries, her own work developed within itself as well as grew in the public eye. In 1913, she exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and was considered the first woman to become an integral part of the Cubist circle.
Floral Still Life is one of the rare and wonderful canvases that were done in a Pointillist technique by this artist. She adopted this technique and did a body of work that is delicate and beautifully executed. She employed delicate and carefully rounded dot-like brushwork utilizing pastel color to create a pulsating work that feels tapestry like in its texture.
This technique came about in Georges Seurat’s work in 1886 and was also quickly adopted by Paul Signac. Other artist’s experimented with it in following years so Marevna came to it late. However, he canvases remain distinct and recognizable as her own in a way different from these earlier artists. It is this work and her life story which compel people to collect her work. Her use of this technique strengthens her interest in creating a mosaic type effect in her work.
Christie’s New York 18 June 2013
Private collection New York 2013-2021
Grogan & Company 2 May 2021