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Portrait of Esfir Shvartsman. 1911

Altman Nathan,
Oil on canvas
67,5 х 47,5

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1916, дар П. П. Добычина, Петроград


A typical work by the young Altman, who had just returned from Paris. The piece brings together all the stylistic characteristics of his early painting: laconic forms, strict clarity in the composition’s structure, a painterly flatness emphasised by contours, and a resounding decorative quality in the colour.
At first it was thought to be a portrait of Nadezhda Dobychina, a woman well known for her activities in the art world. In fact, the woman depicted is an acquaintance of Altman’s from Vinnitsa, where the portrait was painted, named Esfir Shvartsman (married name Kravchuk).

Author's Biography

Altman Nathan

Altman, Nathan Isayevich (1889, Vinnitsa - 1970, Leningrad)
Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, book, theatrical and cinema designer. Studied under Kiriak Kostandi and Gennady Ladyzhensky at the Odessa School of Art (1903-07) and at the Maria Vasilyeva Free Russian Academy in Paris (1910-11). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1906). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Fellowship of South Russian Artists (1910), Union of Youth (1913-14), World of Art (1913, 1915, 1916) and the Jewish Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1915-19; founding member). Taught at Mikhail Bernstein's studio (1915-16) and the State Free Art Studios in Petrograd (1918-20). Member of Department of An, People's Commissariat of Education (1918-21). Research assistant of the Institute of Artistic Culture (1923). Designed for theatres. Honoured Artist of the Russian Soviet Federater Socialist Republic (1968).

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