Oil on canvas
102 x 146
State Russian Museum
Laundresses is one of Natalia Goncharova’s classical, mature Neo-Primitive paintings. The artist herself defined the sources of such works as the “Scythian stone images and painted wooden dolls sold at fairs.” Goncharova went further than many of her contemporaries and confederates in her aspiration to perceive and rework the devices of the folk masters. She did not so much stylise or imitate as borrow the very specifics of folk creativity — its impersonal power, monumentality and bewitching sacral profundity.
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).