Art connoisseurs will soon have a rare opportunity to bid for an award-winning oil painting by Victor T. Letonoff depicting a treasured item from the Delaware State Archives.
Silent auction bids will be accepted during an Oct. 12 and13 event to benefit the Greater Lewes Foundation.
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Letonoff’s “Salute to the USS Delaware” portrays the 45-pound silver punch bowl used onboard the USS Delaware during formal occasions and later donated to the state of Delaware.
Auctioning of the painting will be part of a benefit art exhibit at the Inn at Canal Square to unveil the newest works by five of Lewes’ most celebrated artists.
“It was such an honor for me to be asked to capture this bowl in a painting,” said Letonoff, who served in the U.S. Army for 35 years. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and later studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
During the 100th anniversary of the battleship USS Delaware, celebrated at the Delaware Public Archives building in 2010, Letonoff painted the bowl and the accompanying 46-star U.S. flag that was flown over the ship during its time of service, starting April 4, 1910.
Letonoff said he was not able to take the bowl to his studio and thus had to work from photographic images.
While it was on display at the Dover Public Library, Letonoff’s painting was selected to receive the Holly Branch National League of American Pen Women People’s Choice Ribbon.
The painting is valued at $6,800. Silent bids will require a minimum bid of $5,000. The winning bid will be announced at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13. Prior to the art show, the painting will be on display at the Greater Lewes Foundation office, 135 Second St., Lewes.
Besides the USS Delaware painting, the exhibit will feature several other Letonoff works in the chiaroscuro style of the Renaissance era, characterized by exquisite canvases showing how light impacts still life objects, including fruits, flowers, silver and ceramics.
While studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1998, Letonoff discovered how light falling on an object or person could change the mood and emotion of the moment. His paintings are known for their high degree of precision, balance, symmetry and detail.
Each of the five artists will present up to 10 new works at the exhibit. Other prominent artists in the exhibit will include Connie Costigan, Jean Doran, Steve Rogers (event organizer) and Nick Serratore.
The Celebrated Artists of Lewes exhibit will run from noon to 4 p.m., Oct. 12 and 13 in the Parkside Room at the inn. There will be no admission charge.