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Portrait of Mikhail Larionov and his Platoon Commander. 1911

Goncharova Natalia,
Oil on canvas
119 х 97

State Russian Museum

Пост в 1926 через ГИНХУК, Ленинград


Mikhail Larionov served in the Russian Army in the spring of 1911. This period in his life is reflected in both his own oeuvre and the works of Natalia Goncharova. Portrait of Mikhail Larionov and his Platoon Commander has a common ring with Larionov’s own soldier series and conveys many of the features of Natalia Goncharova’s creative technique – her aspiration towards monumentality and expression and sharp painterly perception, underlined by the contrast between the coarse male figures and the tender blossom of the branch. The painting also reflects the artist’s interest in ancient cultures, such as Ancient Egyptian plastic art, as witnessed by the static heaviness of the two profiled figures and the original frieze of pyramidal buildings in the background.

Author's Biography

Goncharova Natalia

Goncharova, Natalia Sergevevna (1881, Nagayevo (Tula Province) - 1962, Paris)
Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer. Studied sculpture at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1901-1909) and painting independently, enjoying the advice of Mikhail Larionov and attending Konstantin Korovin's studio. With Larionov organized the exhibitions of the Jack of Diamonds (1910), Donkey's Tail (1912), Target (1913) and No. 4. Futurists, Rayonists, Primitive (1914). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Golden Fleece (1908-1910), Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition (1912), Der Blaue Reiter (1912) and Erste Deutsche Herbstsalon (1913). Solo exhibition with Larionov at the Galerie Paul Guillaume in Paris (1914), introductory article to catalogue written by Guillaume Apollnaire. Illustrated and designed Futurist books. Designed for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. Left Russia for Switzerland and then Italy to work for Diaghilev (1915). Settled in Paris (1919).

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