Oil on canvas
89 x 190,5
State Russian Museum
Much of Boris Kustodiev’s artistic heritage is given over to pictures depicting all the originality of Russian folk life, with its bright fairs, noisy bazaars and merry public festivities at Shrovetide. The artist loved everything Russian — wooden utensils, painted toys, garish sarafans and headscarfs, peasant huts with traditional carvings.
Much of this defined the style of his works — decorative, gaudy colours and somewhat simplified interpretation of form. Such employment of the devices of folk art was typical of the masters of the World of Art. Stepan Krachkovsky wrote to Kustodiev on 22 March 1916: “Repin wrote to me that he is in raptures over your Shrovetide.”
Kustodiev, Boris Mikhailovich (1818, Astrakhan - 1927, Leningrad)
Painter. Studied under Vasily Savinsky and Ilya Repin at the Higher School of Art, Imperial Academy of Arts (1896-1903). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in France and Spain (1903-1904). Academician of painting (1909). Founding member of the New Society of Artists (1904) and member of the Union of Russian Artists (1907), World of Art (1910) and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1900). Contributed to the periodical exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Lovers of the Arts (1900-1901), Spring Exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1900-1903) and the exhibitions of the New Society of Artists (1904-1908), Union of Russian Artists (1907-1910), World of Art (1910-1924), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923, 1925) and the International Exhibitions in Munich (1901, gold medal; 1909) and Malmo (1914, gold medal). Designed for theatres in Moscow and St Petersburg (from 1911).