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Head of a Peasant. 1928-1929

Malevich Kazimir,
Oil on canvas
69 х 55

State Russian Museum

Пост.: в 1936 от наследников (Ленинград). Передана в 1977 МК СССР


Confirming his new artistic beliefs, Kazimir Malevich derived a great deal of inspiration from the spiritual culture of the Russian peasantry. The concepts and imagery of his works were heavily influenced by the traditions of Russian icon-painting. The format of this canvas and the composition recall an hagiographic icon. The solemn and austere countenance on the red cross is a mystical vision of the artist’s own future tragedy and a symbol of the fate of the Russian peasantry – virtually destroyed by the end of the 1920s. The background of the picture is divided into two parts, recalling hagiographic scenes. The landscapes are painted in different artistic styles, ranging from Impressionism to Cubo-Futurism and Suprematism, symbolising the steps of the artist’s ascent or Malevich’s Suprematist red cross.

Author's Biography

Malevich Kazimir

Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich (1878, Kiev - 1935, Leningrad)
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, portraitist, landscapist, abstractionist. Studied at the Kiev School of Art (1895-1896) and Fyodor Roehrberg's studio in Moscow (1906-1910). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1905). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (from 1907), Donkey's Tail (1912), Target (1913), Der Blaue Reiter (1912), Salon des Independants (1914), Tramcar V. First Futurist Exhibition (1915) and 0,10. Last Futurist Exhibition (1915-1916). Designed the sets and costumes for the Futurist opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1913). Member of the Union of Youth (1910) and Jack of Diamonds (1910, 1916). Founded the AFFIRMES OF THE NEW ARTgroup (1920). Worked for Department of An People's Commissariat of Education (1918-1919). Director of the Museum/Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd/Leningrad (1923-1926).

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