Boris Kustodiev

Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, engraver, theatrical designer, illustrator. Studied icon-painting at Astrakhan Religious Academy (1887–92) and Astrakhan Religious Seminary (1892–96) and took private drawing lessons from Pavel Vlasov at the Astrakhan Circle of Lovers of Painting and Drawing (1893–96). Moved to St Petersburg (1896). Studied under Vasily Savinsky and Ivan Tvorozhnikov (1896–98) and Ilya Repin (1898–1903) at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Studied sculpture under fellow student Dmitry Stelletsky (1898) and etching under Johann Wilhelm Mathé (1901). Invited to help Ilya Repin paint Ceremonial Sitting of the State Council on 7 May 1901 Marking the Centenary of its Foundation (1901–03). Married Yulia Proshinskaya (1903), who gave birth to a son Kirill (1903) and daughter Irina (1905). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Spain and France (1903–05), worked at Émile-René Menard’s studio in Paris (1904). Founding member of the New Society of Artists (1904–06), member of the Union of Russian Artists (1907–10), World of Art (from 1910), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (from 1924), Community of Artists (from 1924) and the Society of Sixteen (from 1925). Collaborated with the Bugbear (1905), Hellish Post (1906), Golden Fleece (1907) and Satyricon (1908–13) magazines. Travelled to Italy with Dmitry Stelletsky, visiting Venice, Florence and Rome (1907), toured Austria, Italy, France and Germany with his wife (1909). Academician of painting (1909), council member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1912). Taught at Ekaterina Zarudnaya-Cavos’s school (1910) and the New Art Studio in St Petersburg (1913). Underwent treatment for bone tuberculosis at Auguste Rollier’s Institute of Heliotherapy (Sun Clinic) in Leysin in Switzerland (1911). Visited Cannes (1913) and returned to St Petersburg via Genoa, Milan, Venice, Dresden and Berlin, where he was treated for a spinal tumour at Professor Hermann Oppenheim’s clinic (1913–14). Forced to use crutches and to paint while seated (from 1915), underwent an operation at the Zeidler Clinic in Petrograd and began to suffer from paralysis of the legs (1916). Designed the sets and costumes for performances of Alexander Ostrovsky’s play The Fiery Heart at the Konstantin Nezlobin Theatre in Moscow (1911), Mikhail Saltykov-Schedrin’s play The Death of Pazukhin at the Moscow Art Theatre (1914), Alexander Serov’s opera The Power of the Fiend at the former Mariinsky Theatre (1919–20), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tsar’s Bride at the Bolshoi Theatre of Opera in the People’s House in Petrograd (1920), Alexei Tolstoy’s play The Burgomaster at the Academic Theatre of Drama in Petrograd (1922), Yevgeny Zamyatin’s play The Flea (after Nikolai Leskov) at the Second Moscow Arts Theatre (1924–25) and the Bolshoi Theatre of Drama in Leningrad (1926) and Alexander Ostrovsky’s play Wolves and Sheep at the Academic Theatre of Drama in Leningrad (1926). Illustrated the works of Nikolai Gogol (1901), Mikhail Lermontov (1905), Leo Tolstoy (1905), Ivan Turgenev (1908), Nikolai Nekrasov (1908, 1921, 1925), Ivan Krylov (1908), Alexei Tolstoy (1910), Alexander Pushkin (1919), Alexander Ostrovsky (1920), Nikolai Leskov (1922–23) and Samuel Marshak (1924). Decorated the streets of Petrograd (1918) and designed postage stamps celebrating the tenth anniversary of the revolution (1926). Treated by Professor Vasily Kramer in Moscow and operated on by the famous German neurologist Otfrid Foerster (1923). Applied for permission to travel to Germany for a second operation, but was not issued a foreign passport in time and died of pneumonia after catching a cold while visiting Alexei Tolstoy in Detskoe Selo (1927). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1896). Contributed to the periodical exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1900–01), spring exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1900–03), Vienna Sezession (1902), New Society of Artists (1904–08), Exhibition of Historical Russian Portraits at the Tauride Palace in St Petersburg (1905), Union of Russian Artists (1905–10), L’Exposition de l’Art russe at the Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906), Die russische Kunstausstellung at the Salon Schulte in Berlin (1906), Salon Exhibition of Painting, Graphic Art, Sculpture and Architecture (1909), In the World of Art (1909), Modern Russian Art (1909), Modern Russian Female Portraits (1910), Exhibition of Art and Industry in Odessa (1910), World of Art (1910–24), Art in the Book and Poster (1911), Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures in Aid of Belgian Refugees (1915) and Polish Refugees (1916), Russian Landscapes (1918), First State Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), Artists of the House of Arts (1920), Community of Artists (1921), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922), Esposizione libera internazionale in Florence (1922), Exhibition of Pictures of Petrograd Artists of All Directions (1923), Russian Lithographs Over Twenty-Five Years (1923), Russian Ex Libris (1923), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923, 1925, 1926), Society of Sixteen (1923–27), Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (1925, honorary diploma for theatrical and poster designs), Russian Members of the World of Art in Paris (1927), Moscow Theatres of the October Decade (1928), exhibitions of Russian and Soviet art in Vienna (1908), Paris (1910, 1921), Amsterdam (1924), New York (1924), Los Angeles (1925), Toronto (1925), Japan (1926–27) and Brussels (1928) and the international exhibitions in Brussels (1900, silver medal; 1910, silver medal; 1924), Munich (1901, minor gold medal; 1903, grand prix; 1909, gold medal), Venice (1907, major gold medal; 1914, 1924), Rome (1911, 1914), Dresden (1913, 1926), Malmö (1914, gold medal), Pittsburgh (1925) and New York (1926). One-man shows in Petrograd/Leningrad/St Petersburg (1920, 1928, 1947, 1952, 1959, 1968, 1978, 2003), Moscow (1929, 1960, 1968, 1969, 1978, 1979, 2004), Kiev (1960), Astrakhan (1968, 1978, 2003), Kostroma (1978), Nizhny Novgorod (2004) and Saratov (2005).

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