Somov Konstantin Alekseevich (1869, Petersburg – 1939, Paris).
One of the outstanding masters of Russian art nouveau, a founding member of the World of Art association.
He studied at the Academy of Arts, at I.E. Repin’s studio, then in Paris, at the Colarossi Academy. A son of the Keeper of the Hermitage picture gallery, Somov collected antique engravings, drawings, and porcelain; he constantly turned to the Western art heritage. He is famous for his pictures in the spirit of the Rococo ‘sc?nes galantes’ (walks, fests, harlequinades), executed in gouache, pencil, or watercolour. He designed and illustrated a number of books (A Book of the Marquise (1908), Manon Lescaut by A. Pr?vost (1926), Daphnis and Chloe by Longus (1930), and some magazines. He painted also portraits, receiving orders from the aristocracy. The first one-man show of Somov’s work took place in 1903. He participated in the World of Art (1899) and the Secession exhibitions. He was a member of the Russian Artists’ Union (1903-1910).
In 1912 he become a member of the Academy of Arts, in 1918 was promoted to a professorship there. In 1923 he left to New York, since 1925 lived in Paris.
The artist’s works are in the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum.
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