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Somov Konstantin Andreevich
November 18, 1869 (St. Petersburg) — May 6, 1939 (Paris)  Painter, graphic artist, master of decorative and applied arts  Konstantin Somov was born to a family of the famous art historian, curator of the Imperial Hermitage A. I. Somov. In 1878–1888 Konstantin Somov studied at the Karl May School in St. Petersburg, where he met A. N. Benois and D. M. Filosofov. In 1880 Somov studied drawing and music under the guidance of V. M. Sudilovskaya. Since 1884 he attended Sunday evening classes under the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (OPKh). In 1888 Somov entered the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, studied under K. B. Venig, V. P. Vereshchagin, P. P. Chistyakov, and B. P. Villevalde. In 1891–1893 Somov was awarded two silver medals for the drawing and painting sketches from nature. In 1894 he continued his study in the studio of I. E. Repin at the Higher Art Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under the Academy. In 1897 Somov left the Institute. In winter 1897 and 1898 he lived in Paris, attended different art academies, in particular the Academy F. Colarossi.  Konstantin Somov traveled a lot; in 1890, 1894, 1897, 1901, 1905 he visited Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England, and France.  In 1898 Somov was engaged in establishment of the magazine of the group Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”). Till 1904 he was a member of the editorial board, designer and illustrator of this magazine. From 1894 till 1906 Somov took part in the exhibitions of the Society of Russian Watercolorists. In 1898 he exposed his works at the exhibition of the Secession in Munich; in 1901–1903 and in 1906 — at the exhibitions of the Secession in Berlin. From 1903 till 1910 Somov participated in all exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists (SRKh). In 1903 the first personal exhibition of Somov was held in the salon The Modern Art in St. Petersburg.  Konstantin Somov worked also as a book designer. In 1898 he created illustrations to the poem Count Nulin by A. S. Pushkin; in 1901 — to the stories Nevsky Prospect, Portrait by N. V. Gogol; in 1907–1908 he worked on the design of the collection of French prose and poetry The Book of the Marquise by F. von Blei. In 1904 Somov collaborated with the magazines Jugend, since 1905 — with Zolotoye Runo (“Golden Fleece”); he also drew illustrations to the magazine Khudozhestvennye Sokrovishcha Rossii (“Art Treasures of Russia”).  In 1914 Somov was conferred the title of academician. One year later he refused to be a candidate for the member of the Academy. In 1915–1918 he lectured at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School in St. Petersburg; since 1918 — at Petrograd State Free Art Studios. In 1919 the personal exhibition of the artist was held in the State Tretyakov Gallery and was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of his birth. At the end of 1923 Somov went to the exhibition of the Russian art in USA as a representative of Petrograd group of artists. He did not return to Russia.  In May 1925 Somov moved to France, settled on a farm in Granville (Normandy). In 1928 he bought an apartment in Paris. During summer months he lived in Normandy.  After emigration Somov continued to draw amorous scenes of the 18th century, which made him known in St. Petersburg. Konstantin Somov painted portraits; drew a series of watercolors dedicated to the Russian ballet; he also painted landscapes of Normandy and still lifes.  Konstantin Somov participated in many group exhibitions of the Russian art, including exhibitions in 1928 in Birmingham, Brussels, and Paris; in 1929 — in Copenhagen; in 1930 — in Amsterdam, Belgrade, Berlin; in 1932 — in Paris. The personal lifetime exhibitions of Somov were held in 1924 in the gallery of B. Hirschman in Paris, in 1928 — in the gallery of M. S. Lesnik in Paris, in 1930 — in the gallery of the prince V. Golitsyn in London.  In 1969–1971 big retrospective exhibitions of the Somov’s works were organized in the State Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Kiev Museum of Russian Art; they were dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of the master.  Konstantin Somov was one of the organizers and active members of the art group Mir Iskusstva. Somov was a talented colorist and outstanding master of drawing. His favorite subjects in art were inspirited by love for the theatre, for the cult of antique, his interest to the art of the 18th century and to the Dutch Golden Age painting. Masquerades, walking lovers, amorous (even erotic) scenes were characteristic for Somov’s art. The most famous work of Somov was illustrations to The Book of the Marquise.  Somov also was engaged in the fine porcelain sculpture; in 1900s he created the models and designs for the Imperial Porcelain Factory.  Works by Konstantin Somov are in many museums in Russia and abroad, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the State Russian Museum, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and others.
The sketch to the "self-portrait with porcelain figurines on the fire"
Year: 1928
Genre: Graphics
Technique: графитный карандаш, Бумага светло-зеленая
Size: 28,4х34,3
Price on request
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