Konstantin Somov is one of the representatives of Russian symbolism. The development of the artist’s style was largely influenced by his studies at the Paris-based Colorassi studio (1897–1899); it was then that he mastered the lessons of modern and French rococo. The scenes of his canvases resemble gallant balls and masquerades, which were characteristic of the bygone XVIII century. Modernity in his works is mystically connected with the previous epoch, the genre scenes of his canvases are reminiscences of the last century, his characters vaguely resemble puppet Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard, but unlike their predecessors, the artist endows those depicted more mystical ghostly than elegant elegance. V.A. Lenyashin rightly noted that the sources of Somov “beyond the borders of the past days” are much deeper, more blunt: Botticelli, Watteau, Hoffmann.
The ghostly transparent eroticism, without which Somov did not think of art, then permeates the irreversibly spicy pages of the Book of the Marquise, appears about (like the Casanova doll) in the naively challenging and mechanically outspoken image of Columbine. Continue reading
The problem of including the artistic heritage of Russian emigration in the concept of the development of Russian art of the 20th century in our days does not cease to be relevant. The contribution of individual representatives is still insufficiently studied, since it is often complicated by the fragmentation of collections – the exhibits not only adorn the collections of European or US museums, but are also in private collections, from time to time becoming top positions of the world’s leading auction houses.
The artistic process after the Revolution of 1917 turned out to be broken in two – part remained in Russia, the other began to develop in emigration. It is impossible to say unequivocally that there were no similar mass exodus in the world history of art. There were a lot of examples when artists worked in a different national environment, and one of them is the formation of the international school of Paris. However, for artists from other countries, participation in it can only be considered a line in his personal biography. Continue reading