Russian Museum
Augmented Reality


Portrait of Vsyevolod Meyerhold. 1916

Grigoriev Boris,
Oil on canvas
247 x 163

State Russian Museum


Boris Grigoriev’s portrait of Vsyevolod Meyerhold has an unusual construction. The famous theatrical director is stands with his arms raised in a weird and warped pose, as if caught in the middle of an eccentric mise-en-scène. The allegorical figure of a hunter in oriental dress stands behind him, holding a bow. Vsyevolod Voinov called Grigoriev’s painting a “double portrait of Vsyevolod Meyerhold”. He believed that it “reflected the grimaces and break-up of the modern spirit, when the nightmares of the fairground clown were preferable to the nightmares of Russian reality.”
Vsyevolod Emilievich Meyerhold (1874–1940): Theatrical director, actor. Headed experimental work under the pseudonym of Doctor Dapertutto at a studio on Borodino Street in Moscow (from 1914). Published the L’amore delle tre melarance magazine (1914–16). Directed and performed the role of Lord Henry in The Portrait of Dorian Gray, a film based on the novel by Oscar Wilde (1915).

Author's Biography

Grigoriev Boris

Grigoriev, Boris Dmitriyevich
1886, Moscow - 1939, Cannessur-Mere (France)
Painter, draughtsman. Studied under Dmitry Scherbinovsky at the Stroganov Central School of Art and Industry (1903-07) and under Alexander Kiselev and Nikolai Dubovskoi at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1907-12). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Impressionists (1909), Fellowship of Independents (1912-13) and the World of Art (1913, 1915-18, member from 1918). Emigrated (1919) and lived in Finland, Germany and France.

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