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Interior. Family at the Table. 1918–1919

Pestel Vera,
Oil on canvas
88 х 88,5

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1974 от С. Е. Пестель, дочери художницы, Москва


Like many of her contemporaries, Vera Pestel paid tribute to cubism and cubo-futurism, working and exhibiting with Marc Chagall, Vladimir Tatlin, Lyubov Popova, and Nadezhda Udaltsova. The Makovets group (the Art Is Life Union of Artists and Poets) was one of the first groups of the time to focus on the spiritual nature of art, to portray the harmony of the human soul and the spirituality of the world order. Intimate themes and subjects, the contemplation and concentration on man’s inner world, and the poetisation of a subject’s “quiet life” all reflect these concerns. In the paintings Interior. Family at the Table and Aunt Pasha, the flatness of canvas, the large, generalised shapes of the objects, and the muted palette formed by large masses of colour lend monumentality to everyday scenes. Echoes of a terrible epoch define the hidden inner tension and emotional structure of these works. Drama and gloom are combined with the laconic characteristics of people absorbed in their sad thoughts.

Author's Biography

Pestel Vera

Pestel (Bali), Vera Efremovna (1887, Moscow — 1952, Moscow)

Painter, graphic artist, monumentalist, applied artist, author of abstract compositions, portraits and genre scenes, Vera Pestel studied at a number of different schools from 1902 through to 1911: Alexis Falize’s private studio in Moscow, Stroganov Central School of Technical Drawing, Konstantin Juon and Ivan Dudin School of Drawing and Painting, and with the Hungarian artist K. Kis, a student of Simon Hollósy. Pastel travelled across Italy in 1907, and went on towork with Vladimir Tatlin, Pavel Miturich and Konstantin Zefirov in the Tower Studio, Moscow in 1912. She then moved to Paris, where she lived for two years, working in free art studios. From 1915, Pestel participated in various exhibitions, including: Supremus (1916–1917), World of Art (1917, 1921), First Exhibition of Russian Art (Berlin, 1922), Makovets (1922–1926), L`Araignèe (Paris, 1925), Path of Painting (1926–1930). Shetaught at art schools in Moscow from 1918 to 1930 and art for children at IZO Narkompros until the end of her life.

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