Valentin Serov (Best Of Collection)

Valentin Serov (Best Of Collection)

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 190698140X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Moscow artists who began to move towards Impressionism in the 1880s admired the works of the young Serov, his pastoral landscapes so clearly revealing the lyricism of modest events in daily life. Benefi ting from the instruction of his teachers, Repine and Tchistiakov, he became the fi nest Russian portraitist of his generation. His skill is evident in some of his most beautiful paintings, “Young girl with peaches” or “Ulysses and Nausicaa”. Serov’s creative work and experience opened the way for Russian painting to become part of pictorial art in the 20th century.

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of Yermolova and other portraits of the same period had come to be used by Serov in all of his art. Many other Russian artists also adopted these principles, which had developed at the turn of the century in various national schools and were designated by different names (Art Nouveau in France and Belgium, Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, etc.). This style found its most obvious expression in architecture and interior decoration. Its characteristics included a new approach to the

turns out full of deep, inner meaning. Much of this is due to the firm principles of the style to which Serov always aspired and which, along with a number of contemporaries, he had actually created. It is characteristic that this style was given its fullest expression in his drawings and in the graphic skeleton of his paintings. Style is a type of art. Often one and the same type embraces not only different temperaments, but varying human interests that do not fall under the dominion of any

craftsmanship” that characterised the Old Masters. Venice, with its divine architecture and fairy-tale canals, simply went to Serov’s head. He felt himself at the height of his powers. He was surrounded by friends and loved ones. Finally, he had recently, in 1885, done an inconspicuous little study in Odessa entitled Bullocks (p. 55): the harmony achieved in the colour scheme of that piece filled him with satisfaction and led him to understand what an artist should aspire to. Portrait of Maria

done in 1895. Echoes of the former wealth of colours are discernible in Portrait of Konstantin Korovin (p. 36). But on the whole, Serov’s palette becomes more and more monochromatic, with a predominance of grey hues. His impressionism grows less pronounced and then vanishes for good, giving way to stylistic discovery of a totally different kind. The 1890s saw the emergence of Serov the portraitist, an artist of pungent characterisations, a master of the grand style, a sharp-eyed analyst, a

his occupation. Equally eloquent are the posture of a man accustomed to paint, not to sit for a painting; the sharp, professional eyes that know how to seize and to hold; the bohemian negligence in dress; and, finally, the temperamental painterly manner, similar to that of Korovin himself, that boldly combines the grey of the wall with the blue of the clothes, the red upholstery of the sofa and the red and white stripes of the cushion. Everything in the composition speaks of an artist in love

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