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Portrait of Alexander Anisimov. 1915

Kustodiev Boris,
Oil on canvas
41,4 х 33

State Russian Museum


Alexander Ivanovich Anisimov (1877–1932): Art historian, restorer, expert on Old Russian painting. Worked for Narkompros (from 1920) and the Central Restoration Studios (from 1924). Author of a monograph on the icon of the Vladimir Mother of God.
This is one of the most capacious and pyschological images in the oeuvre of Boris Kustodiev. The penetrating, tense and somewhat prickly gaze, sharply curved eyebrows and deep wrinkle on the bridge of the sitter’s nose betray an active personality and strong will. Behind the figure stretches Boris Kustodiev’s favourite landscape with a winding river, silver birchs, dark firs, churches and bell-towers.
After graduating from the Faculty of History and Philology of the Moscow University in 1904, Alexander Anisimov worked for more than ten years as a teacher in Novgorod, where he became interested in icon-painting and restoration. In the 1910s, he published articles in the Sophia and Apollo periodicals. After the revolution, he was employed by the museum department of Narkompros and sat on the commission for the preservation and restoration of the Moscow Kremlin. Alexander Anisimov was arrested in 1929 and exiled to the port of Kem on the White Sea and then the Solovki prison camp, where he soon died.

Author's Biography

Kustodiev Boris

Kustodiev, Boris Mikhailovich (1818, Astrakhan - 1927, Leningrad)
Painter. Studied under Vasily Savinsky and Ilya Repin at the Higher School of Art, Imperial Academy of Arts (1896-1903). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in France and Spain (1903-1904). Academician of painting (1909). Founding member of the New Society of Artists (1904) and member of the Union of Russian Artists (1907), World of Art (1910) and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1900). Contributed to the periodical exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1900-1901), Spring Exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1900-1903) and the exhibitions of the New Society of Artists (1904-1908), Union of Russian Artists (1907-1910), World of Art (1910-1924), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923, 1925) and the International Exhibitions in Munich (1901, gold medal; 1909) and Malmo (1914, gold medal). Designed for theatres in Moscow and St Petersburg (from 1911).

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