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Portrait of Fyodor Chaliapin. 1911

Korovin Konstantin,
Oil on canvas
65 x 81

State Russian Museum


Konstantin Korovin met Fyodor Chaliapin at the Pan-Russian Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896. This famous portrait was painted in Vichy, where the artist and the singer were both taking the waters. In France, the two men planned a joint production of Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanshchina, eventually mounted at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1911. Well aware of his friend’s merits and shortcomings, Korovin captures the most important aspects of his character — nobility, talent, openness and broadness of spirit — with the help of the singer’s physical attributes (large and sturdy figure, proud profile, smiling face) and his exultant and temperamental brush. This handsome and spirited man is a natural part of the surrounding environment.
Fyodor Chaliapin (1873–1938): Famous Russian opera singer.

Author's Biography

Korovin Konstantin

Korovin, Konstantin Alexeyevich (1861, Moscow - 1939, Paris)
Painter, theatrical designer, teacher. Studied under Vasily Perov, Alexei Savrasov and Vasily Polenov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1875-1886) and at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1882). Academician of painting (1905). Member of the Abramtsevo Сircle (from 1885). Member of the World of Art (1900) and founding member of the Union of Russian Artists (1903). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1878). Contributed to the periodical exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1888-1897) and the exhibitions of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1889-1899), Moscow Fellowship of Artists (1894-1902), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898), World of Art (1899-1906, 1921, 1922), 36 Artists (1901, 1902), Union of Russian Artists (1903-1923), World Exhibitions in Chicago (1893) and Paris (1900, two gold medals) and the International Exhibitions in Munich (1898), Vienna (1902), Venice (1907) and Rome (1911). Designed for theatres in Moscow and St Petersburg (from 1885). Taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1901-1918), State Free Art Studios (1918-1919) and the Stroganov School (1900s-1910s). Emigrated (1922).

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