“Where the desert was”. Still life with several flowers and fruits. Signed and dated M. Saryan 1951. Oil on canvas. 81×100 cm.
Provenance: Denmark's late Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag and his wife, actress Helle Virkner. According to her information, the couple received the painting as a present from Nikita Khrusjtjov, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, when he visited Denmark in 1964.
The title of the painting “Where the desert was”, refers to the postwar revival times, where Soviet republics came out of destruction and developed new fertile lands. This metaphor points to reclaim deserts as part of the process of creating the socialistic Garden of Eden on Soviet soil.