Oil on cardboard
100 x 100
State Russian Museum
Churches. New Jerusalem was one of a series of works inspired by the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow. A typical example of Aristarkh Lentulov’s painterly plastics, it combines rich colours with dynamic and “vortex” forms. The artist smashes the Old Russian architecture into bright fragments decoratively similar to an original mosaic panel; every brushstroke rings out like a piece of smalt. Velimir Khlebnikov noted the revolutionary spirit of Lentulov’s art: “Steeples with high apertures bowed, like a man fractured by a stick suddenly stooping and clutching at his stomach or an ear of corn broken in several places ... The storm passed through his painting; one day it will pass through life and will smash many steeples.”
Lentulov, Aristarkh Vasilyevich (1882, Voronye (Penza Gubernia) - 1943, Moscow)
Painter, theatrical designer. Studied at the Nikolai Seliverstov School of Art in Penza (1888-1900, 1905), Kiev School of Art (1900-1905) and Dmitry Kardovsky's studio in St Petersburg (1906-1907). Worked independently at Henri le Fauconnier's studio (1911). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1907). Member of the Jack of Diamonds (from 1910), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1926-1927) and the Society of Moscow Artists (1928-1929). Contributed to the exhibitions of Wreath (1907), Link (1908), Wreath/Stephanos (1908), Union of Russian Artists (1908) and the World of Art (1911, 1912). Headed the theatrical design studios at the First Free Art Studios (1919) and the department of theatrical design at the Higher Art and Technical Studios (1920). Taught at the department for raising theatrical designers' qualifications at the Institute of Fine Arts in Moscow (1932).