PAINTER OF NOSTALGIC MEMORIES
KONSTANTIN KOROVIN, A RUSSIAN MELANCHOLIC PAINTER
Konstantin Korovin can be ranked among the most famous Russian painters. He was praised for his landscapes and well known for his theatrical decors.
Korovin was born into a wealthy merchant family. Unfortunately his father’s coach transport business went bankrupt due to the arrival of railways. It left the family without any money. As a consequence Konstantin’s father committed suicide. Konstantin was devastated.
HIS ARTISTIC CAREER
Korovin studied in Moscow, at the school of fine arts and was under the guidance of the painter A. Savrasov. Savrasov left the school in 1882. As a result his lessons were taken over by another famous painter V. Polenov. Polenov introduced Konstantin to the circle of Mamontov Ambramtsevo, an intellectual and artistic center that played a significant role in the development of Russian culture in the 19th Century. Korovin got the opportunity to do several sketches for the theatrical performances of Savva Mamontov (founder of the previous mentioned artistic center)
Soon after that he got the chance to expose his work in the Tsar Theatres. His work can be seen at the Grand Theatre in Moscow and at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
HIS VARIOUS TRAVELS
Korovin took a great interest in impressionism and in 1887. The young painter went to Paris to visit various museums and study this specific style in painting. After Paris he travelled together with Savva Mamontov and they visited Italy, Spain and France.
He always loved to travel, as well in his native country Russia where in 1890 he started a journey with his friend Valentin Serov, another well-known Russian painter. After having spent two years in Russia together with Serov, Korovin wanted to return to Paris. There he wanted to learn new techniques of contemporary European painting.
At the world exhibition in Paris in 1900, Korovin was awarded the French medal of the Legion of Honour.
His love for traveling we can find back in his works. The objects of many of his cityscape paintings are cities like Venice, Nice, Paris. His most beautiful landscape paintings show us the Russian countryside painted with passion and melancholy.
In 1923 the Tretjakov gallery in Moscow asked him to exhibit his works. Unfortunately he did not receive the success he wanted. Young Russian painters were not interested in his works anymore and choose a different path. Korovin felt slightly rejected and as a consequence he decided in 1924 to leave Russia. He settled in Paris where he started to work as a theatrical decorator.
KONSTANTIN KOROVIN, A MEMOIR
In 1935 he wrote a book “My Life”, a memoir about his exciting and artistic life.
Konstantin Korovin died in Paris in 1939.
Visit our online gallery to check out more works by Konstantin Korovin
Monique Lucy Weberink, January 2017