Friday, 23 November 2012

Konstantin Korovin

File:Korovin arkhangelsk.JPG
Arkhangelsk Port on the Dvina. 1894

Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin is one of the most vivid representatives of Russian impressionism. Among the artists who made themselves known in the 1880s and marked a new stage in the development of Russian painting – such as Levitan, Nesterov, Serov and Vrubel – quite a special place belongs to Konstantin Korovin.

Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin was born on November, 23rd, 1861 in Moscow. His parents were of the merchant class and the family was rather well-to-do. By the way, this family gave to the world and another artist - Sergey Korovin – Konstantin’s brother.

At the age of 14 years Konstantin entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpturing and Architecture to study at the faculty of architecture. But after two years of studies he chose painting instead and transferred to the corresponding faculty. Korovin went to Petersburg to continue his education in the Academy of Arts. However, quite soon the young artist got disappointed in the academy’s methods and after three months quitted.

Korovin was on friendly terms with the famous artist Serov. Together they traveled across the Russian North in 1888 and 1894.

In the 1900s the artist actively worked on designs of costumes and scenery for stage to performances in the Bolshoi Theater and Mariinsky Theater. During the World War I Konstantin Korovin worked as a camouflage consultant at headquarters of the Russian army. From 1901 Konstantin was the teacher of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. After the October Revolution in Russia Korovin was actively engaged in the issues of preservation of art monuments, organized auctions and exhibitions in favor of released political prisoners, and went on his collaboration with the theater. But in 1923, having followed Lunacharsky's advice he left for France. On the whole, French impressionists had a strong impact on his art, which is evident in his is city landscapes.

This is how Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin defined the basic quality of his creativity on his 50th anniversary: "My major and the only ever-pursued purpose in art was beauty, esthetic influence on the viewer, the fascination of colors and shapes. No lecturing, no moral tendency to anybody ever”.

When in emigration Korovin brightly manifested his literary talents as well – he wrote short stories and memoirs. His sketches-memoirs about Russia, its nature and people, about his teachers and friends were printed in Russian newspapers of Paris for about a decade.

Korovin never managed to feel at home living in France. He loved Paris with the love of a guest and greatly missed his homeland.

The artist died in Paris on September, 11th, 1939 and was laid to rest at the Biyankursky Cemetery. In March, 1950, with the assets collected by Russian Parisians, the remains of Konstantin Korovin and his wife were transferred to Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery.

The memory of the great artist is kept alive in his works, which are displayed in great number in Russian museums.

The artist’s former summer residence in Gurzuf (Ukraine) is one of the premises of K.A.Korovin Art Centre. Throughout 1910-1917 Korovin lived there for a long time and painted lots of splendid canvasses glorifying the beauty of Crimea and Gurzuf.

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