Oil on canvas
89 x 63
State Russian Museum
Пост.: 1926 из МХК
Prototype: Pavel Sergeyevich Popov (1892–1964): Brother of the artist. Graduated from the Faculty of Law, Moscow University. Interested in philosophy, psychology and ancient literature. Taught at Vsyevolod Meyerhold’s Higher Theatrical Studios (1920s). Keeper of the artist’s creative heritage.
Portrait of a Philosopher is an excellent example of the Cubo-Futurist period of Lyubov Popova’s oeuvre. There are several known painterly and graphic versions of this portrait, which, as the artist herself confirmed, depicts her brother Pavel. The image of Pavel Popov, however, is merely the starting point for further painterly impulses. The title of the work underlines the sense of generalisation and estrangement from a real person. The portrait also reflects an invariable facet of Russian avant-garde art – irony. Popova’s composition is filled with irony, seen in the title of the work, top hat, white shirt-front, dandified moustache, sceptical grin, wineglass and the copy of the Philosophical Revue.
Popova, Lyubov Sergeyevna
1889, Ivanovskoe (Moscow Province) -1924, Moscow
Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, applied artist. Studied at the private studio of Stanislaw Zukowski in Moscow (1907), Konstantin Juon and Ivan Dudin School of Drawing and Painting (1908-09) and under Henri Le Fauconnier and Jean Metzinger at the Academic de la Palette in Paris (1912-13). Visited the Tower studio in Moscow (1913). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Jack of Diamonds (1914, 1916), Tramcar V. First Futurist Exhibition (1915-16), 0,10. Last Futurist Exhibition (1915-16), Store (1916) and 5 x 5 = 25 (1921). Member of Supremus (1916). Worked at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Moscow (1920-24) and helped to found the Museum of Painterly Culture (1921-22). Member of LEFT FROM OF THE ARTS (1922-24).