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Self-Portrait. 1915

Surikov Vasily,
Oil on canvas
91 х 73

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1928 от О. В. Кончаловской, дочери художника, Москва


Vasily Surikov painted self-portraits throughout his life. The concepts of such works were largely defined by the artist’s character – spontaneous, simple and morally upright, with a distaste for artificial posing. This is one of the artist’s most expressive self-portraits. The figure standing en face is full of importance. Strong and energetic, Surikov looks ahead with a penetrating gaze. The forms are masterly modelled from broad, pastoso brushstrokes that appear to have been rubbed into the surface. The characteristics are devoid of the austerity encountered in other self-portraits of the 1910s.
The image of the great painter in this self-portrait is similar to the characteristics given by Maximilian Voloshin, the artist’s biographer: “Sturdy, strong, wide-shouldered and young-looking, despite the fact that he was already getting on for seventy … Thick hair cut in a fringe, with streaks of light brown, lay like a cap and did not seem grey. Short and rigid, they curled in his beard and moustache. One sensed a tough and strong temper in his … outer appearance; he was hewn from northern, Cossack stock.”

Author's Biography

Surikov Vasily

Surikov, Vasily Ivanovich
184 8, Krasnoyarsk -1916, Moscow
Studied in Krasnoyarsk, at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1869) and under Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1869-75). Member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (from 1881) and the Union of Russian Artists (from 1908). Full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893), academician (1895). Visited Western Europe and Siberia. Lived in Moscow (from 1877).

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