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Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939)

The creative activity of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin evolved happily. The son of a shoemaker in the transformation of the famous painter, his rapid movement of the Volga in the outback centers of European culture (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Munich, Rome, Paris), its proximity to the major figures of Russian art in the refined circles of the capital - all this seems fantastic.

In art, Petrov-Vodkin integrally display the paradoxical structure of his personality: the provincially-tenacious, thrifty, economical attitude to the material of spiritual activity, on the one hand, and the cosmic scope of hypotheses, designs, amazing freedom of thought, intellectual disinterestedness - on the other.

 First tentative experiments led to a young man of fifteen classes of painting and drawing FE Burov (Samara). In 1895, with the help of sponsors, he went to St. Petersburg and entered the TSUTR. However, two years later, realizing his vocation picturesque, Petrov-Vodkin moved to Moscow School of Painting, where he graduated in 1904 he was fortunate to work here in the studio B. Serov . In addition, in 1901, he was in Munich, where he attended art school Aschbe.

 Years at the Moscow School of Painting marked literary pursuits (prose and drama), sometimes so intense that the artist even hesitate in choosing between painting and literature. Travel to Italy, long stay in France, studying in studios in Paris, familiarity with modern European art artistic horizons expanded Petrov-Vodkin, finally determining the choice of the way. A trip to North Africa was the basis of works shown at the Paris Salon (1908) and then at home.

 In 1909, in the magazine "Apollo" the first solo exhibition of Petrov-Vodkin. The following year, the artist became a member of the association "World of Art", with which he was connected until its dissolution (1924). Already in the early period of creativity Petrov-Vodkin noted symbolist orientation ("Elegy", 1906, "The Coast", 1908, "Dream", 1910), here, of course, was influenced by older contemporaries - M. Vrubel , V. VE Borisov-Musatov , P. Puvis de Chavannes, in literature - M. Maeterlinck.

 The public outcry the first performances of the artist was controversial. The painting "The Dream" sparked heated debate and brought the young painter widely known as Camp criticism was headed by J. Repin and defense - A. Benois . Some saw in Petrov-Vodkin "newest decadent", others linked with his work "Apollonian" waiting approval of the neoclassical trend. The artist himself could not judge yourself so clearly: calling himself a "difficult artist", he did not dissemble.

 Further evolution shows that the symbolism of the language of art was rooted in the very nature of the painter, as well as in the iconographic tradition, the new discovery which was the axis at this time. "Playing Boys" (1911) and especially "Bathing of a Red Horse" (1912) marks a fundamentally important milestone in the work of Petrov-Vodkin. Although the study of the volume of the plastic comes into conflict with the well-known convention of color and flattening of space, it is clearly read by the desire for the synthesis of Eastern and Western painting traditions, proved so fruitful.


The artist's works

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