An Update on Zinaida Serebriakova

(Last Updated On May 30, 2022)

A few years ago I did an article on Russian painter Zinaida Serebriakova, whose images of her own daughters are particularly powerful and charming. Well, I was just made aware of a heretofore unknown (to me at least) Serebriakova piece that went up for auction at Sotheby’s a couple of years ago and sold, according to this article (which is in Russian), for around 3.85 million pounds sterling, or nearly six million dollars, making it the most expensive item of the entire lot of mostly Russian paintings sold that day. Although you cannot see the entire painting in the article, there were plenty of full-sized versions online. I chose the best of the bunch to share here.

Zinaida Serebriakova – Sleeping Girl


This entry was posted in Painting, Serebriakova, Zinaida and tagged by Pip Starr. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pip Starr

I am the founder and original editor-in-chief of Pigtails in Paint, running it initially by myself for the first few years. Then Ron joined the party, and I eventually ceded overall control of Pigtails to him, taking a back seat to focus on other things. Best decision I've ever made.

8 thoughts on “An Update on Zinaida Serebriakova

  1. Yup! If I had an extra $6.5 Million to outbid, this would be the painting I would buy. Maybe, in an otherwise empty gallery, but face to face with the other reclined painting of Katusha (on a blue blanket).

    • You and me both, Rev. Then again, if I had $6.5 million to play around with, I don’t know that I would be spending it on a single painting. There’s so much good art out there for so much cheaper. I might invest in a book or two of Serebriakova’s art though, if any exist.

    • I don’t think it’s actually meant to be makeup, just the artist taking liberty with reality in the same way she did by lengthening the girl’s body. It’s an exaggeration to enhance the healthiness of the subject.

  2. It seems to me, a practitioner of deep tissue massage, that the girl’s little nipple is locate a bit more lateral and lower than normal. For a person well-acquainted with human anatomy this lends an unnerving aspect to an otherwise sunny image. Open your photoshop & place it about 1 & 1/4 inches northwest; I’ll bet she she’ll look better then.

    • Firstly, when someone angles their arm backward a bit (as a person lying on their back with their arm dangling off the side would) it will pull on the pectoral muscle, which would in turn move the nipple from its usual spot. If her arm wasn’t dangling over the side of the cushion then her nipple would be closer to where you say it should be, but that is not the case. Secondly, notice that the artist took some liberty with the girl’s height, slightly elongating her (you can tell this simply by looking at her hands and feet, which are abnormally long and thin). This then positions her nipple slightly lower than it would be. Taking those two factors into account, as well as the overall angle of the girl’s body, I think the placement of the nipple is just about right.

  3. I don’t mean to nitpick at you, but you have the unintentionally humorous “best of the lost” instead of “best of the lot”.

    • Ha! No, it’s fine. I’m glad you did. I just changed it to ‘bunch’, which was better anyway as the word ‘lot’ had already been used earlier in a different context, so this helps avoid confusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.