If you were paying attention, you may have noted Konstantin Korovin’s painting of a woman holding a guitar in a post from about a week ago. It appears that lots of artists have been attracted to this theme, and many of them are Russian. There are also other great names – notably Renoir and Matisse and Botero and Braque. In fact, Vermeer also painted a guitar-playing woman, and she bears a strange resemblance to Alanis Morissette – at least to my eye.
I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I stick the images of the Russian (and I hope you recall that when I say ‘Russian’ I continue to mean ‘of the erstwhile Russian / Soviet empires / diaspora / modern Russia / post-Soviet republics’) artworks first, and then point you to a few links for the depictions of women with guitars from the rest of the planet. How about that?
So here goes. Konstantin Korovin was quite profligate with guitar-chicks.
Lady with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1911).
Girl with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1916).
Woman with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1919).
Night. Duet. Konstantin Korovin. (1921).
Aristarkh Lentulov did his bit as well.
Woman with guitar. Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).
Nearly thirty years earlier, Vasily Surikov painted the duchess S. A. Kropotkina wielding the instrument. Not quite a slide-guitar, however.
Portrait of the duchess S. A. Kropotkina. Vasily Surikov. (1882).
Vladimir Lebedev painted a portrait in oils of a nude sitting with a guitar.
Woman with guitar. Vladimir Lebedev. (1930).
I’m not entirely sure when S. Lysenko did the one below, or even who this painter is. Any ideas?
Gypsy woman with guitar. S. Lysenko.
How about a modern and up-to-date rendition of the theme? Here’s Viktor Vinokurov.
Girls with guitars. Viktor Vinokurov. (2006).
Or we can go way back and admire another work involving women and guitars. Vladimir Borovikovsky painted the Gagarin sisters, who – as you can see – can very well pass for any of Jane Austen’s heroines. (Note, though, that the Gagarins were a princely lot.) Borovikovsky was born in a Cossack family of icon painters in the Ukraine, but headed to Russia as soon as he decently could. I’ll call him a Ukrainian, shall I?
Portrait of A. G. and V. G. Gagarina. Vladimir Borovikovsky. (1802).
The brilliant Parashutov continues to anticipate my every move – his post from 9 June 2009 has several guitar-related works. The next few are all from his blog.
Girl with guitar. Nikolai Kupreyanov. (1928).
Look at this rather weak portrait from 1982 by Yuri Kossagovsky.
Woman with guitar. Yuri Kossagovsky. (1982).
Here’s Vasily Svarog’s Guitarist (date unknown):
Guitarist. Vasily Svarog.
Now for an Armenian. Ashot Asatryan has a lovely piece from a few years ago.
Evening. Ashot Asatryan. (2004).
And, to round things off, we have the Dagestani painter Mukhtar Bagandov. I’ve not been able to date this painting, but it is from this century.
Girl with guitar. Mukhtar Bagandov.
Other Women with Guitars
1. Parashutov’s series extends nearly 20 posts on the guitar, but includes men and still lifes with guitars. Take your pick.
2. Likewise, Meloteca has a nice set of guitar-related paintings from around the world.