Artist: Boris Kustodiev
Date: 1906
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 183 x 136 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Received in 1955 from the artist’s daughter, Irina Kustodieva, Leningrad
Style: Impressionism
Boris Kustodiev, Lilac, 1906


Boris Kustodiev painted Lilac at the family estate of Pavlovskoe in Kostroma Province. The picture depicts the artist’s wife Yulia Yevstafievna Proshinskaya (1880–1942) with his daughter Irina Borisovna Kustodieva (1905–1981).

This genre-like canvas is painted in a manner typical of Kustodiev, full of the light and joy of a fresh impression. Set against the background of a sunlit house and lilac bush in full bloom, the artist’s wife holds her child with love and affection.

Kustodiev employs an expanded background, actively including a landscape in the composition. The figure of the young woman becomes a poetic symbol of femininity and motherhood, closely linked to the blossoming world of nature.

Modello (1906, National Museum of Art of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk)


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