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 Pyotr Utkin

Born:   October 9, 1877, Tambov
Deceased:   October 17, 1934

Artist, symbolist


Pyotr Savvich Utkin was born into the family of a railroader.

The boy started his art education in the Saratov Studio of the Fine Art Lovers Society and then at Bogolyubovo Drawing School.

In 1897 he entered Moscow University for Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, where he studied under Isaac Levitan, Valentin Serov, and Konstantin Korovin. Together with his friend, fellow countryman and schoolmate P. V. Kuznetsov he was not just a participant but also the organizer of the exhibitions Scarlet Rose (1904, Saratov) and Blue Rose (1907, Moscow). These expositions became an important stage in the history of Russian Symbolism.

Pensive mood and musicality of the Blue Rose artists were inherent in Pyotr Utkin's canvasses with their characteristic names, such as Slumber, Mirage, etc. His fantastic landscapes often painted in blue-lilac palette so favoured by symbolists and fanciful painting reminding of ice flowers on glass (Mimosa, the 1900s), gained him the reputation of the most consistent symbolist.
Graphic art by Pyotr Utkin decorated pages of the Golden Fleece log. Besides, he was into book illustration; in particular, he designed The Silver Pigeon book by Andrey Bely (1910). It was Pyotr Utkin along with P. V. Kuznetsov and the sculptor A. T. Matveyev, who were invited by Yakov Zhukovsky for designing his estate in the Crimea. From 1909 to 1914 Pyotr Utkin stayed in New Kuchuk-Koy, where he painted the country house interior and romantic landscapes of the Crimea. In 1918 the artist settled in Saratov, taught at A. P. Bogolyubov Drawing School, the Proletkult Studio, was engaged in design work and landscape painting. In autumn of 1931 he moved to Leningrad, where at the invitation of the Arts Academy authorities he became a professor of the painting department of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. 

Tags: Pyotr Utkin Russian painters    

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