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Clouds over the Black Sea--Crimea

Boris Anisfeld

European Art

On View:
Boris Anisfeld’s canvas presents a vertiginous view of the Black Sea from the top of the Ayu-Dag mountain in southern Ukraine. The viewer has the sensation of being placed in midair, looking down through billowing clouds at an expanse of blue water, in the midst of which is a small boat. Although the scene represents a vast space, the artist’s complex composition challenges the illusion of depth in traditional landscapes by flattening the elements—cloud, land, and horizon—onto a single plane.

This painting was included in the 1906 Salon d’Automne in Paris in the Russian galleries organized by the ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, for whom Anisfeld designed stage sets and costumes. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the artist came to the United States, and within a year the Brooklyn Museum hosted his first American one-person exhibition.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1906
    DIMENSIONS 49 1/2 × 56 in. (125.7 × 142.2 cm) frame: 56 1/2 × 63 1/2 × 3 1/2 in. (143.5 × 161.3 × 8.9 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Boris Anisfeld"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Boris Anisfeld in memory of his wife
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Boris Anisfeld (Bal?i, present–day Moldova (former Russian Empire), 1879–1973, Waterford, Connecticut). Clouds over the Black Sea--Crimea, 1906. Oil on canvas, 49 1/2 × 56 in. (125.7 × 142.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Boris Anisfeld in memory of his wife, 33.416 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 33.416_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 33.416_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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