Konstantin Somov

Born: 1869, St Petersburg
Died: 1939, Paris

Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, illustrator. Son of Andrei Somov, brother of Anna Somova-Mikhailova. Studied under Vasily Vereschagin and Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1888–97), in the studio of Ilya Repin (from 1894) and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris (1897–99). Member of the Munich Sezession (1898), Berlin Sezession (1898), World of Art (1899), Union of Russian Artists (1903) and the Salon d’Automne in Paris (1906). Academician (1914). Collaborated with the World of Art, Golden Fleece, Jugend and Artistic Treasures of Russia magazines (from 1898). Illustrated the works of Alexander Pushkin (1898), Nikolai Gogol (1901), Konstantin Balmont (1907), Alexander Blok (1908) and Vyacheslav Ivanov (1911). Designed the curtain for the Historical Theatre in Moscow (1913–14) and worked for Pyotr Sazonov and Yulia Slonimskaya’s Puppet Theatre in Petrograd (from 1915). Taught at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Painting and Drawing (1915–18) and the Petrograd State Free Art Studios (1918). Accompanied an exhibition of Russian art to New York and decided to stay there (1923). Moved to France (1925), living in Paris and Granville in Normandy (from 1928). Died in Paris and buried at the Russian cemetery in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (1939). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1894). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1894), Society of Russian Watercolourists (1894–95), Blanc et Noir (1895), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898), Munich Sezession (1898–99), Berlin Sezession (1898, 1901–03, 1905–06, 1909), World of Art (1899–1903, 1906, 1911, 1912, 1915–17, 1922), Vienna Sezession (1901, 1904–05), Union of Russian Artists (1903–10), New Society of Artists (1907), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Exhibition of Artists of the House of Arts (1920–22), Russian Artists of the World of Art Group in Paris (1921), international exhibitions in Venice (1907) and Rome (1909) and the exhibitions of Russian art in Paris (1906, 1921, 1929, 1932), Berlin (1906, 1930), New York (1924), Amsterdam (1924, 1930), Brussels (1928), Birmingham (1928), Copenhagen (1929) and Belgrade (1930). One-man shows in St Petersburg/Leningrad (1903, 1969), Berlin (1903), Hamburg (1903), Leipzig (1904), Vienna (1905), Moscow (1919, 1969), Paris (1924, 1928), London (1930, 1969) and Oxford (1950).

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