Sergei Konenkov sculpted this beautiful nude, Russia, whilst in lonely exile in the USA before his return in 1945. Konenkov
remained intensely nostalgic for Russia and the present work is one of his attempts to create an idealised depiction of a type of
The female figure stands in contraposto with her weight on her left leg and her right leg bent. She lifts her arms to clasp her head creating a sinuous rising form. There is a wood sculpture of the subject in the Tretyakov and a porcelain treatment in the Konenkov museum in Moscow.
Konenkov was often called 'the Russian Rodin'. He was born to a peasant family in Karakovichi in Smolensk province. He studied
at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, graduating in 1897, and at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
His diploma work at the Academy - a huge clay statue of Samson tearing the chains - broke most existing laws of academic art and
put him at odds with his teachers, who apparently destroyed the work with hammers.
He subsequently travelled to Italy, France, Egypt, Greece, and Germany.