Lentulov’s art keeps giving and giving. (Via Lobgott Pipzam.)
More Aristarkh Lentulov – peisages, cityscapes, all in brilliant colour. What an artist. (Via Lobgott Pipzam.)
One can never get enough of this brilliant colorist. Here are some more of his works (via Lobgott Pipzam).
Lobgott Pipzam took these pictures from the book “Аристарх Лентулов: Путь художника. Художник и время” by E. Y. Murina and C. G. Jafarova.
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.
Aristarkh Lentulov did his bit as well.
Nearly thirty years earlier, Vasily Surikov painted the duchess S. A. Kropotkina wielding the instrument. Not quite a slide-guitar, however.
Vladimir Lebedev painted a portrait in oils of a nude sitting with a guitar.
I’m not entirely sure when S. Lysenko did the one below, or even who this painter is. Any ideas?
How about a modern and up-to-date rendition of the theme? Here’s Viktor Vinokurov.
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?
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.
Look at this rather weak portrait from 1982 by Yuri Kossagovsky.
Here’s Vasily Svarog’s Guitarist (date unknown):
Now for an Armenian. Ashot Asatryan has a lovely piece from a few years ago.
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.
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.
Speaking of Aristarkh Lentulov, there’s a story about his sense of irony and self-deprecation. He painted a self-portrait which he modestly titled ‘Le Grand Peintre’. He named the title humorously, in a way completely in accord with his character, just as his contemporaries recall.
The book designer Andrei Goncharov wrote in his memoirs about how in winter the artist Alexander Osmerkin ran into a merry and excited Aristarkh Lentulov who was riding on a sled. The sled stopped and Lentulov said, ‘Sasha, I have painted a masterpiece! Come over to my place and I’ll show it to you. But first let’s go to the shops for wine and hors d’oeuvres. There’s much to celebrate.’
No sooner said than done: they shopped and stocked up and hurried home. Without taking off his winter wear, still clad in overcoat and hat, Lentulov rushed up to the canvas (it was facing the wall), turned it around, looked at it for a long time, and then he said, mournfully waving his hand, ‘It’s crap.’
Such was Le Grand Peintre – talented and self-critical.
(Translated excerpt from Irina Osipova, ‘The Bright Light of the Ringing Bell‘, The Independent, 26 January 2007.)
Aristarkh Lentulov (Аристарх Васильевич Лентулов) (1882-1943) was a Russian avant-garde artist with a Cubist predilection. He was born in the Penza province in an impoverished family of a parish priest (his mother was widowed early with four children, of whom he was the youngest). His early education was in a religious school, following which he entered a seminary. However, when an art school opened in Penza, he was among the first entrants. He received advanced training in the arts in Kiev, followed by training at the St Petersburg-based studio of D. Kardovsky. In 1909, he moved to Moscow.
He was one of the co-founders of the famous avant-garde union ‘Jack of Diamonds’, and participated in its exhibitions between 1909 and 1917. From his first exhibition, there was much argument among the critics and the public as to his merits. The former called his works an ‘irreconcilable abracadabrist’, while to the latter they appeared to be ‘colourful jewels’.
Between 1911 and 1912, he studied at Le Fauconnier’s studio as well as the La Palette Academy in Paris. There he became acquainted with a new generation of French artists – Gleizes, Metzinger, Léger, Delaunay – and was introduced to the genre of Cubo-Futurism. His friends called him a ‘Futurist à la russe‘. But he didn’t merely imitate the Paris style – he rethought his foreign experience in accordance with his own exceptional talent and temperament. He created a wonderful ideal on canvas, sprinkling paint on the plane and complementing them with elements of collage. The rest he seasoned with the spice of Cubism that he had acquired in Paris. He diluted the strict principles of Cubism with bright colours.
Returning from Paris, the artist created a series of panels depicting the architectural marvels of Moscow. These works combine the natural impression of medieval architecture, traditional folkloric brightness and cubofuturist transformation of the form.
The riotous creativity dwindled in 1916 with the First World War. The Jack of Diamonds began to reconsider their positions. Mashkov and Konchalovsky defected to ‘Mir Iskusstvo’ movement, a year later followed by Lentulov himself. The festivity of colour had grown tired, and the artist started to review the direction of his artistic pursuits.
In 1920, Lentulov applied himself to theatre design. Four years later, he joined the commune of ‘Muscovite Painters’. In A. V. Lunarcharsky’s words, his works were distinguished by ‘profound realism’. In 1928, he was involved in the organisation of the Society of Moscow Artists.
In the 1930s, the painter found himself in the Crimea. He travelled considerably in those years around the south of Russia, where he completed many works in oils and watercolour: cityscapes, nautical and industrial landscapes. From that time, the artist addresses himself to a new system of tonal painting that didn’t prevent him from maintaining the higher coloristic skill and artistry of painting.
[Translated from Spunky Monkey's blog, 16 January 2009. It appears that he himself might have translated it from a previous English biography of the artist. I can't be bothered to trace the provenance...]