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Portrait of Serge Rachmaninoff. 1925

Somov Konstantin,
Oil on canvas
63,7 х 51,6

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1964 через МК СССР от М. В. и С. А. Брайкевичей, Лондон


Serge Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873–1943): Composer, pianist, conductor. Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1904–06). Emigrated (1917), settled in the United States (1918).
In February 1924, Konstantin Somov drew a pencil portrait of Serge Rachmaninoff. Although the artist was dissatisfied with the result, calling the image “a melancholy demon,” the composer’s family believed that he had captured Rachmaninoff’s soul. In May 1925, Steinway commissioned Somov to paint a large portrait of the composer for the Carnegie Hall in New York. This particular work is a modello, painted at the Château de Corbeville in Orsay, where the composer lived. The artist was also unhappy with this painting and only finished it a year later, when he added a landscape background.

Author's Biography

Somov Konstantin

Somov, Konstantin Andreyevich
1869, St Petersburg - 1939, Paris
Painter, graphic artist. Studied at Ilya Repin''s studio (from 1894) at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1888-97) and the Academic de Filippo Colarossi in Paris (1898). Academician (1914). Member of the Munich and Berlin Sezessions (1898), World of Art (1899), Union of Russian Artists (1903) and the Salon d''Automne (1906). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Russian Water-colourists (1894-95), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898) and Sezession in Munich (1898, 1899)and Berlin (1898). Lived in Paris (from 1925).

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