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 Mikhail Larionov

Born:   June 3, 1881
Deceased:   May 10, 1964

Artist. Representative of Russian avant-gardism.


Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov was born in Tiraspol on May, 22nd (on June, 4th) 1881 into the family of a military medical assistant. In 1898 he entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied till 1910, not without breaks: three times he was expelled for his artistic freethinking. Among his teachers there were Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. In 1900 he got acquainted with Natalya Goncharova, destined to become his partner in life and art for many years to come.

The years of studies were marked with the early, impressionistic period of Larionov’s creativity. He created whole painted series in the manner that he inherited from French artists. In 1907 Larionov discovered for himself folk primitive art – the Russian lubok (popular prints), craft signboard, etc. The primitive period was nearly the most fruitful one in the artist’s career. Larionov was fond of the so-called street culture. His primitivism found inspiration even in indecent street drawings and inscriptions.

From 1912 Larionov was mainly immersed in drawing: he made a series of lithographed cards duplicating his paintings, and drew illustrations for books of his contemporary poets-futurists.

In 1914 Larionov participated in battles of World War I and was contused. In 1915 under invitation of Sergei Diaghilev he and his wife Natalya Goncharova joined the ballet company Russian Seasons and toured with it around Europe, working on sketches of scenery and costumes. In the 1920s he was an art adviser of Dyagilev, who under his influence came to cooperate with modernist artists.

From 1919 Larionov and Goncharova settled sown in Paris. He continued to be engaged in easel painting and drawing, participated in exhibitions, and was seriously into collecting art works. In the last years of his life he spent a lot of time on literary work, writing memoirs and articles on Russian art.


Tags: Mikhail Larionov Russian painters Russian art   

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