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Landscapes, Tropical, Palm Tree Haven, Vladimir Pavlosky, Vintage Watercolor (Sold)

Vladimir Pavlosky (Russian-American, 1884-1944)
Palm Tree Haven
1st Half, 20th Century
Signed lower right: “V. Pavlosky”
Watercolor on paper
15.25 x 21.5 inches

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Beach landscape, probably Florida or the Caribbean , by an artist known for his marine scenes. The vantage point is a shaded grove of palms, the smooth sand dappled with sunlight. Beyond the rocky shore, the ocean merges with the sky in a shimmering gray haze. Vladimir Pavlosky, a Boston watercolorist, was born in Russian Ukraine in 1884 and emigrated to America at the age of 20. He exhibited his works widely in Boston galleries and museum shows from the 1920s to his death in 1944. He is best known for his landscapes, many of New England coastal subjects, as well as fishing and hunting scenes. His obituary referred to him as “[one] of the foremost water color painters in greater Boston, and a leading member of the Boston Society of Water Color Painters.” He also completed many mural commissions in Boston, including St. Mary’s Polish Church in Boston and the Fenway and Orpheum Theaters. In 2002, a large group of his paintings was rediscovered, leading to a renewed interest in his work among art collectors and historians.

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In the 1920s, Pavlosky’s painting The White Peacock was awarded second prize at an exhibition of the works of Boston artists at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston — the first prize was won by John Singer Sargent. Pavlosky received great publicity for this, including an article in a Boston periodical by M.J. Curl entitled “Boston Artists and Sculptors in Intimate Talks,” saved by Pavlosky with his personal papers. In the article, the author quotes Pavlosky’s personal philosophy of art: “An artist should be a good, honest man, true to his work, true to nature. Art is the expression of the soul; to paint well one must live well. The moment an artist begins to think whether his work will sell, he does less commendable work, he is less of an artist.”

In this article, Pavlosky was further quoted that a work should be beautiful but also express the artist to distinguish it from mere decoration:

“The artist should be the happiest man alive, because art and the love of the beautiful are the finest gifts God has made us. The joy of catching the living world with a few strokes of the brush and a few colors is unending. All good painting should express the beauty of nature. The subject should be interesting — not like the hideous ones that some modern artists choose — and the scene should have atmosphere and the colors be charming. We do not hang a picture on the wall just to have a piece of color in the room — that is the province of draperies. We want more than that, something to admire. Pictures should be like music — when we hear beautiful music that touches the soul, we forget our troubles. It is not how the artist bangs his hand on the keyboard, but how the note sounds that he produces. So with painting, not the technique of the brush alone, and not powerful color, will make it fine — there must be something more.”

Additional information


20th Century