Ilya Ivanovich Mashkov was a famous Russian avant-garde artist and socialist realist of the 20th century, the ideological inspirer of the Jack of Diamonds, a member of the World of Art and Moscow Painters societies. The work of Ilya Mashkov was actively supported by the Soviet government. For paintings that glorify life in the USSR, he received the title of Honored Art Worker.
Ilya Mashkov is considered one of the founders of the Society of Moscow Artists. All his life, the painter lived in a creative search, led a pedagogical activity. For his great contribution to the development of the Soviet painting school, he received a personal pension from the state.
Biography of Ilya Mashkov
Ilya Mashkov was born on July 17, 1881, in the South-East of Russia, among the Don Cossacks of the Mikhailovskaya stanitsa. The father and mother traded at retail and considered their son obliged to continue their occupation. As soon as the boy was 11 years old, he was assigned “to the people”, that is, he was sent to do small work in food shops and shops. Subsequently, Ilya Mashkov recalled what hard impressions he had from being on his feet for many hours doing petty and thankless work. And he wanted to paint. His artistic abilities manifested themselves early, but they were of little interest to those around him. Therefore, I had to break through myself.
In 1900, Ilya Mashkov had the opportunity to enter the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. The capital offered ample opportunities. The young man diligently studied various trends in art, visiting the Tretyakov Gallery and the Rumyantsev Museum.
He had wonderful mentors: Apollinary Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, Konstantin Nikolaevich Gorsky.
Good teachers and talent allowed the young painter to take part in the 1902 exhibition and earn a reward. Financial problems forced Ilya Mashkov to leave the school. In 1904 he opened a painting studio. It was taught by such luminaries as Pyotr Petrovich Konchalovsky, Mikhail Fedorovich Larionov, studied by Vera Ignatievna Mukhina, Robert Rafailovich Falk and other famous painters of the 20th century.
In the artistic environment, Ilya Mashkov was considered an eccentric personality. He was distinguished by his love for hyperbolization, gigantism, unexpected color schemes. This feature was clearly expressed in the painting “Self-portrait and portrait of Pyotr Konchalovsky”, which was ambiguously appreciated by critics. Women played an important role in the life of the master. His first wife was the Italian Sofia Arenzvari, with whom he married in 1905. In 1915, the couple parted, and he married Elena Fedorova. For this woman, Ilya Mashkov also became a teacher. Thanks to his lessons, the new wife took part in the World of Art exhibitions.
The revolutionary cataclysms of 1917 stimulated the painter’s activity.
He organized a trade union of artists, taught, devoted himself to the work of the department of fine arts under the People’s Commissar of Enlightenment. In 1922, the master met Maria Danilova, married again and made his third wife an assistant in his public affairs. In the 20-30s of the last century, paintings by Ilya Mashkov were exhibited in the USA and Italy. He spent a lot of time on participation in the affairs of the AHRR (Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia), painted the life of the Red Army, collective farmers and Soviet workers, traveled around the country, went to the open air in the Crimea and the Caucasus.
In the late 1930s, the eminent master lived almost without a break at a dacha in Abramtsevo. Here he remained during the war, continuing to create portraits of soldiers and hospital workers. At the time of his sudden death, on March 20, 1944, Ilya Mashkov was only 62. The famous painter was buried at the Moscow Novodevichy cemetery.
The most famous paintings by Ilya Mashkov
Ilya Mashkov’s paintings made a significant contribution to the development of Soviet art. Most of them show the desire to find new techniques, ways of expressing artistic thought. Among the best works of the painter are:
- “Self-portrait and portrait of Pyotr Konchalovsky” (1910) – shocked the audience with powerful figures of half-naked strong men. Conceived by the author as a call for a new approach in the visual arts.
- “Dyulber. Sanatorium Krasnye Zori “(1920) – was created in the open air during a visit to the Crimea. Glorifies happy Soviet vacation.
- “Moscow food. Meat, game “(1924) – an example of the glorification of Soviet life. Edible compositions of this style are considered “apotheosis” of the artistic vision of Ilya Mashkov.
- Kolkhoz Woman with Pumpkins (1930) is a striking example of Soviet portrait art of the 1930s. A majestic woman, the sun, a dense figure, rude features – this is a hymn to the victorious system and the triumph of life.
- “Portrait of Major General of the Medical Service A.R. Zlobin “(1943) – one of the many images of soldiers and hospital workers in Lefortovo.