Topic: Russian Art
Portrait of Konstantin Korovin by Valentin Serov, 1891
250 works by Russian outstanding painter Konstantin Korovin have been unveiled at the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg. The exhibition marks the 150th anniversary since the birth of the ‘Russian impressionist’.
The collection on display comprises Korovin`s canvases from different museums and private collections. The Russian Museum contributed 23 paintings once demonstrated during the world`s fair in Paris in 1900 (The Exposition Universelle of 1900).Nobody has been lucky to see them since then as they had been kept in storerooms. It took the museum four years to restore the paintings and make them available to the public again.
Some visitors look puzzled as they do not see this riot of color so typical of Korovin`s manner. Indeed, this collection offers a brand new look at his works. Paintings titled ‘Outskirts of Motherland’ all have subdued colors but this ‘reserved’ beauty conveys the strength of wild Russian nature. Yevgeniya Petrova, deputy director of the Russian Museum: “This is how Korovin saw the Russian north. He made sketches from life and later worked on each painting at his studio. I think his Siberian series is just wonderful. Alexander Benoit, painter and art historian, described Korovin`s works with admiration and urged him to try his hand at monumental art. But this did not happen.”
Korovin was keen on theater. He worked as a stage designer for many theaters of Europe, America, Asia and Australia. He gained much popularity in Europe for sets and costumes he created for Sergei Diaghilev`s brainchild, Ballets Russes. Korovin made hundreds of sketches for each stage production, he was inspired by everything, from Russian fairytales to fantastic ballets. Though traditionally referred to as ‘the leading Russian impressionist painter’, Korovin was a gifted artist in many other styles.
Shortly after the 1917 Revolution Korovin left Russia and settled in Paris, where he died in 1939. Since his works were hardly known in the Soviet Union, the ongoing retrospective at the Russian Museum is by all means worth seeing.
© The Voice of Russia. 17 August, 2011