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Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev (1878-1927)

Coming from a family of teachers seminary. For his growth as an artist most important were the lessons I. Repin at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he studied in 1896-1903. He was a member of the "World of Art" and "Union of Russian Artists."

The first experiments

Repin did the young master one of the sponsors of his painting "The meeting of the State Council" (1901-03, Russian Museum). The cooperation resulted in a real contest, as Kustodiev, showing early maturity of talent, creating a surprisingly vivid impressionistic portrait sketches, almost indistinguishable from the Repin. Demonstrated remarkable skill in self-portrait and his portraits, paintings of the early twentieth century, elegant and expressive ("Ivan Bilibin ', 1901, ibid;" Family Polenovs ", 1905, History and Art Museum, Vienna). Later (in 1908) and worked enthusiastically in the sculpture (also on the Impressionist style) portrait, creating - in plasticine, plaster, which are then often translated into marble - a gallery of portrait busts of famous figures of culture (MVDobuzhinsky, W. E . Meyerhold, AM Talkers, F. Sologub, etc.). Early interest in the national life and history is not combined with a conservative ohranitelstva Kustodiev. In his political sympathies he was a liberal, sympathetic to the revolution, which is particularly bright and evil manifested in his anti-government cartoons 1905-06.

Russian province in the pictures Kustodiev

Lived mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, constantly bumping into Russian picturesque corners of the province. Always had a special impression on the artist towns and villages of the Upper Volga - Kostroma, Kineshma, Romanov-Borisoglebsk (Tutaev), Nizhny Novgorod, etc. Here were born his famous images of peasants, petty-bourgeois, merchants life, "fair", "carnival", "village holidays, "which evolved into a series of large oil paintings, gouaches and watercolors, which the artist repeatedly varied the original motif - with consistently colorful, colorful, buoyant, coloristic close folk art effect. The wizard also writes genre portraits, Valais, where the figures appear avatars Russian province itself ("The Merchant's Wife", 1915, "Merchant's Wife at Tea," in 1918, both - Russian Museum), surrounded by lively genre of landscape environment and the actual portraits of characters ("F . Chaliapin ", 1922, ibid.)

Over the years, his compositions increases ironically theatrical beginning, growing stronger overall sense of the idyllic, or a little sad and nostalgic, unreality ("all my pictures - Broken illusion" - said the master himself). Therefore, as such, set design (design of "Fleas" Zamyatin in the 2nd Moscow Art Theater, 1925, and other performances, including plays by Ostrovsky) appears as a natural extension of his easel paintings. Serious illness attracts Kustodiev in 1916 to a wheelchair, but he continues to work extremely active and original. Motives joyful updates dominate his paintings with a new, revolutionary themes ("Bolshevik", 1920, Tretyakov Gallery, "The Feast of the II Congress of the Comintern in the area Urickogo" 1921, Russian Museum). It creates agitation graphics in the spirit of national splint, often acts as a comic book artist Summarizing his old Russian iconography in the book "Russia" (text of Zamyatin, 1923) and other cycles, and continues to work as a sculptor (models for porcelain figurines ). Typical of a number of his images erotic music, good-natured ("Russian Venus", Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum, 1924-26) or more dramatic ("The Merchant's Wife and the brownie", 1922, private collection, St. Petersburg), reaching the limit of candor in unpublished figures to "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" by Nikolai Leskov [private collection, Moscow, published as illustrations (1923) constitute one of the most exciting and colorful book cycles artist].

The artist's works

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