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Mother. 1915

Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma,
Oil on canvas
107 x 98,5

State Russian Museum


Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was particularly interested in national roots, ideals and traditions in the mid-1910s, at the start of the First World War. Mother is based on a life motif, transformed by the master’s own personal vision. The outer appearance of the young peasant woman breast-feeding her baby grows into an image of the Madonna and Child, full of divine grace. The monumental figurative structure of the painting is intensified by the sonorous tones and dominant reds, the favourite colour of the Russian people.

Author's Biography

Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma

Petrov-Vodkin, Kuzma Sergeyevich
1878, Khvalynsk (Saratov Province) -1939, Leningrad
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, history painter, portraitist. Studied at the Baron Stieglitz Central School of Technical Drawing (1895-97), under Abram Arkhipov and Valentin Serov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1897-1904), at Anton Aube''s school in Munich (1901) and private academies in Paris. Contributed to exhibitions (from 1898). Contributed to the Salon d''Automne (1906-07, 1908), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Union of Russian Artists (1909, 1910), Golden Fleece (1909), Union of Youth (1910), World of Art (191124), Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition (1912), First Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923, 1928), Four Arts (1925-29), World Exhibition in Brussels (1910) and the International Exhibitions in Rome (1911), Malmo (1914) and Venice (1924, 1928). Taught at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Painting and Drawing in St Petersburg (1910-15) and the Free Art Studios/Academy of Arts (1918-38). Honoured Artist of Russia (1930).

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