- Date of birth: 7 Mar 1878
- Date of death: 28 may 1927
- Country: Russia
The artistic talent of Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev is known worldwide representative of Russian art of the last century, gave us a nostalgic world, Sunny and happy, bright colors accentuate the feeling of celebration. As a student of Ilya Repin, Kustodiev not just inherit the manner and the style of Repin, but also brought a characteristic play of colors, which is necessarily positive charges and happiness. It should be noted that the formation of Boris Mikhailovich as an artist began long before meet with the teacher, evidenced by his work, permeated with echoes of childhood attachments and experiences.
Kustodiev was born in the family of a Seminary teacher in 1878 in Astrakhan. The destiny has disposed so, that the father Boris died when the boy was little more than a year, and the responsibility for education rests on the fragile shoulders of the mother 25 year old widow with four children. Despite a very modest income, the family lived together, and a mother’s love brightened the difficulties of life, giving the opportunity to form a creative personality. The mother, Ekaterina Prokhorova, instilled in his children a love of high art – theater, literature, painting. Such education has clearly defined the future of Boris, and in the 9 years he knew he would be an artist.
In 1892, enrolling in Astrakhan theological Seminary, Kustodiev at the same time began to take lessons from a local painter, A. P. Vlasov. With the blessing of Vlasov, in 1896, Kustodiev became a student of the St. Petersburg Academy of arts and after two years was accepted into the Studio of Ilya Repin. A great artist once drew attention to the pupil by laying great hopes on him, which subsequently resulted in joint work on the monumental canvas, “the Ceremonial meeting of the State Council on 7 may 1901”. The consequence of such a successful beginning has been the protection of the thesis with a gold medal and training abroad. In his journey to Europe, the artist travelled with a young family, newly born son and young wife – Yulia Evstafevna Prosinski.
Subsequently, in 1905, paying tribute to the fateful meeting with his love, Kustodiev built a house-workshop “tower” near the town of Kineshma, on the Volga. “Terem” has become a place of work and of the artist’s work here, almost every summer, Boris Mikhailovich was overcome by a feeling which is called happiness, inspire his creativity and awareness of the fullness of life. Beloved wife, who became a faithful helper, a son and a daughter, unbroken notion of family is reflected in the artist and became a separate big theme in his painting (the painting “Morning”).
A year earlier, in 1904, the artist spent several months abroad, in Paris and Madrid, visiting exhibitions and museums. Rodnye prostory name was Boris Mikhailovich in Russia, and, returning home, Kustodiev plunged into the world of journalism, collaborating with the satirical magazines “Bugbear” and “Infernal mail”. So, the first Russian revolution inspired him to try his hand at cartoons and caricatures of government officials.
1907 was rich in events: the trip to Italy, a passion for sculpture, membership in the artists Union. And in 1908 to Kustodiev opens the world of theatre he works as a decorator at the Mariinsky. The popularity of Boris Mikhailovich growing fame portrait becomes the cause of well-known works of Nicholas II in 1915, but even before that, in 1909, into a family of artist, disaster strikes – early signs of tumor of the spinal cord. Despite this, he continues to travel to Europe, received the title of academician of painting in the same year. Visiting Austria, Italy, France and Germany, Kustodiev goes to Switzerland, where he is undergoing treatment. Subsequently in Berlin in 1913, he made a difficult operation.
It would seem that the disease is defeated and 1914 was marked by exhibitions in the gallery Bernheim in Paris, the International art exhibitions in Venice and Rome. In 1916, Kustodiev doing a second operation in St. Petersburg, resulted in paralysis of the lower body and leg amputation. Since the whole world of an artist is his room, memory and imagination. It was during this period he wrote his most vivid and festive paintings, painting small-town life (“merchant’s wife at tea”, “Rural holiday”) and body (“Beauty”).
But the cheerfulness and optimism to overcome the disease that is progressing, gives one artist the only time to spend a lifetime exhibition of own works in 1920 the Petrograd House of arts. Recent milestones marked by the design of the play “flea” and participation in the International exhibition in Paris.
In 1927, may 26 at the age of 49 years Boris dies literally at work on a sketch conceived the triptych “the Joy of work and rest.” So ended a tough, but full of light and joyful notes of the life of a famous artist who left us a legacy of great images showing thirst for life and knowledge.