Oil on canvas
177 x 133
State Russian Museum
Ilya Mashkov was one of the leading members of the Jack of Diamonds. Like his colleagues, he experienced a period of interest in Russian folk art — traditional prints (lubok), fairground shows and the signboards outside provincial workshops and vegetable stalls. Everything in this unusual work scorns the traditions of the psychological portrait. Highlighting and deliberately hyperbolising the sitter’s garish features, the artist creates a generalized image similar to the types of beauties encountered in traditional urban prints. The subject has a sumptuous body, ruddy cheeks, dyed eyebrows and wears an elegant dress with enormous roses. A sable stole hangs from the back of the chair. The interior adds to the general characteristics. The stuffed bird conjures up associations with the salons of the fairground photographers.
The humour, bright tones and Neo-Primitive forms also incarnate the carnival element of folk art. The portrait has a generalized title; the sitter was in fact F. Y. Hesse, sister of the poet S. Y. Rubanovich, a friend of the artist who spoke at the Jack of Diamonds debates.
Mashkov, Ilya Ivanovich (1881, Mikhailovskaya (Don Region) - 1944, Abramtsevo (outside Moscow))
Painter, graphic artist, teacher, portraitist, genre artist. Studied under Abram Arkhipov, Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1900-1909). Member of the Jack of Diamonds (1911), World of Art (1916), Society of Moscow Artists (1924-1928) and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (from 1924). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1902). Contributed to the exhibitions of the New Society of Artists (1909), Golden Fleece (1909-1910), Vladimir Izdebsky Salon (1909-1911), Jack of Diamonds (1910-1914), Moscow Salon (1911), Salon des Independants (1911, 1912) World of Art (1911, 1912, 1915-1922, 1929), Society of Moscow Artists (1927, 1928) and the Venice Biennale (1924). Taught in his own studio in Moscow (1904-1917) and at the Free Art Studios/ VKhUTEMAS/Higher Art and Technical Institute (1920-1930). Headed the central studio of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1925-1929). Honoured artist of the RUSSIAN SOVIET FEDERATED SOCIALIST REPUBLIC (1928).