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 Serebriakova Zinaida


Born:   December 12, 1884
Deceased:   September 1967

Artist

      

The life-asserting power and beauty of images created by Zinaida Serebriakova ascend to the best traditions of Russian and West European realistic art; whereas her pure and crystal-clear talent was inherited from the famous artistic dynasty of the Lanceray-Benois that she belonged to. Her all-embracing love of art and her native land with its infinite expanses and simple people from times immemorial living and working on it, determined the spiritual essence of the creative path of this outstanding artist.

Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebriakova (nee Lanceray) was born on December 12, 1884 in the family estate Neskuchnoe in the vicinity of Belgorod. Her father Yevgeni Aleksandrovich Lanceray was a famous sculptor, while her grandfather Nikolai Leontyevich Benois was an academician and chairman of Saint Petersburg Association of Architects, and the latter’s son, Alexandre Nikolayevich Benois (Zinaida’s “Uncle Shura”) was an illustrious artist and the founder of the Mir Iskusstva art group.

In 1900 Zinaida finished a grammar school for girls and entered Princess Tenisheva’ art school, where she studied under the outstanding artist Ilya Repin (from 1901) and the well-known portrait painter Osip Braz (in 1903—1905).

In 1905 the beginning artist married Boris Serebriakov, a railroad student then. They got acquainted in Neskuchnoe that was neighboring the Serebriakovs’ mansion. The newly-weds spent their honey moon and much time afterwards in Paris, where Zinaida was mastering her painting skills.

During the revolution in 1917 the Neskuchnoe house together with a huge library and a great number of drawings and canvasses was burnt down.

In 1919 Zinaida’s husband died in her lap of typhus, leaving her alone in charge of four small kids and her old mother. Thus collapsed their seemingly safe family home...

In 1924 Serebriakova got an order for a large decorative panel and with the help of Uncle Shura moved to Paris, leaving behind her children and mother in Saint Petersburg. Some time later she managed to take her son Sasha and daughter Katya across the border, but Zhenya and Tanya had to stay with their weakening granny in Russia.

 

Then exhibitions in France, Belgium, and England followed, the creative success accompanied with constant tormenting sensations of separation of the family and home. Up to 1940 Zinaida Serebriakova remained a Soviet citizen and hoped to reunite with her children staying in Russia. However, during Hitler’s occupation of France she had to choose between a French passport and a concentration camp. So she had to renounce her Soviet citizenship, thus loosing the connection with her motherland for many years.

In Russia Zinaida Serebriakova was recalled a few years past the end of the war: during the Thaw her daughter Tatyana (who became a decorative artist in MKhAT (Moscow Art Academic Theatre) got a chance to visit her mother after 36 years of separation.

Thanks to the growing interest in Russian painting of the Silver Age it became possible to arrange Serebriakova’s exhibitions in Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

Her triumph in Soviet Russia in 1956 surpassed the most glorious reminiscences of her youth – Zinaida Serebriakova was ranked among Boticelli and other great masters. The 80 year old artist was already unable to visit her motherland, yet she could finally feel the acknowledgment of her home country.

She passed away on September 1967 and was laid to rest in the Russian cemetery of San Genevieve de Bua. Following the artist’s will an enormous collection of her works (over two hundred canvasses) was brought back to Russia.

Sources:
    picture.art-catalog.ru
    weekend.ru
    izvestia.ru
    Russian Wikipedia


Tags: Russian Painters Zinaida Serebriakova Russian art   




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