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 Mikhail Le Dentu

Born:   February 8, 1891
Deceased:   August 25, 1917

Russian artist, representative of a cubism and primitivism


Mikhail Vasilyevich Le Dentu was born on February 8, 1891. In the 1910s the Cubism originally concentrated in France spread around lots of European countries.

The book manifesto On Cubism played an important role in promoting this style. Young Mikhail Le Dantu did not keep out of this fashionable new art trend. In general the Russian Cubism turned to be a transition phenomenon, sort of “school for avant-garde”. A range of prominent Russian avant-garde artists, including Aristarkh Lentulov, Lyubov Popova, and Nadezhda Udaltsova, studied in the Parisian Academy La Palette in 1911-1913. Together with these and some other cubist artists Mikhail Le Dantu participated in work of the Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds) art group that originated from the same-name exhibition held in Moscow in 1910.

A half-a-year trip to Tiflis in 1912, to the house of parents of his friend, the Georgian artist and future art historian Kirill Zdanevich had a great influence on the development of creative style of Mikhail Le Dantu. This is where he paid attention to works by the unknown self-educated artist Nicko Pirosmanishvili, whose paintings and posters decorated walls of Georgian shops, taverns and pothouses. The most well-known work by Mikhail Le Dantu is Sazandar, a portrait of a performing Georgian musician. 
26 year-old Mikhail Le Dentu, a warrant officer of the Cherdyn Regiment, perished in a crash of a gunned train near Proskurov town (nowadays Khmelnytsky) during World War I. This is where he was buried. The artist's grave was lost, just like most of his works, which were scattered all over the world in the tumultuous war and the first post revolutionary years. 
The number of escaped works is small: around 15 canvasses and three albums with sketches is all that is left from his once extensive heritage; about eighty canvases were named in the list made by the artist’s friends after his death.

Tags: Russian Artists Russian painters    

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