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Self-Portraits (Harlequin and Pierrot). 1914

Shukhayev Vasily & Yakovlev Alexander, ,
Oil on canvas
210 x 142

State Russian Museum


Vasily Shukhayev and Alexander Yakovlev were the representatives of Neoclassicism in the World of Art. Harlequin and Pierrot resurrects the form of the classical portrait, with its academically distinct drawing, chiaroscuro modelling of form, local colours and textureless application of the paint. In the early 1910s, the two artists performed in Arthur Schnitzler’s pantomime Colombine’s Scarf at the House of Interludes in St Petersburg. Yakovlev played the part of Harlequin and Shukhayev was Pierrot. This double self-portrait records their interest in the theatre. For a long time, the picture was unfinished and therefore not exhibited.
In 1962, Shukhayev finally completed several details and the painting was exhibited that same year at his one-man show at the Academy of Arts in Leningrad.

Author's Biography

Shukhayev Vasily

Shukhayev, Vasily Ivanovich
1887, Moscow - 1973, Tbilisi
Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer. Studied at the Stroganov Central School of Art and Industry in Moscow (1897-1906) and under Dmitry Kardovsky at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1906-12). Fellow of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists in Rome (1913-14). Contributed to the exhibitions of the New Society of Artists (1915, 1917), World of Art (1918), First Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), International Exhibitions in Rome (1924) and Pittsburgh (1925-27) and the Exhibitions of Russian Art in Paris (1921, 1927) and New York (1924). Taught at the New Studio of Art (from 1915). Professor of the Academy of Arts/Petrograd Free Art Studios (1917-20). Designed for theatres (from 1918). Lived in Finland and France (1920-35). Illustrated books (from 1920).

Yakovlev Alexander

Yakovlev, Alexander Yevgenyevich
1887, St Petersburg - 1938, Paris
Painter, graphic artist, teacher. Studied under Dmitry Kardovsky at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1905-13). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Italy and Spain (1914-15) and China, Mongolia and Japan (1917-18). Member of the World of Art (1915) and founding member of the Guild of St Luke (1917). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1907). Contributed to the Exhibition of Drawings of the Satiricon Magazine (1909, 1910) and the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists (1909), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Vladimir Izdebsky Salon (1909-10), World of Art (1912-21), Exhibition of Drawings of the New Satiricon Magazine (1913), Exhibition of Modern Russian Painting (1916), Russian Landscapes (1918-19), Exhibition of Russian Artists in Pskov (1920), International Exhibitions in Malmo (1914) and Rome (1914), Exhibitions of Russian Art in Paris (1921, 1927), New York (1923, 1924, 1927), Pittsburgh (1927), Brussels (1928) and Birmingham (1928). Taught at the New Studio of Art in Petrograd (1916-17) and the Boston School of Fine Arts (1934-37). Emigrated to Paris (1919). Awarded the Legion d''honneur (1926).

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