Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin the best of Russian impressionist painters
Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin is the main Russian impressionist of the XIX-XX centuries, who painted many landscapes, portraits and still lifes with a magnificent play of light and color. His paintings were exhibited in Russia along with the works of the Itinerants, members of the World of Art association and members of the Union of Artists of Russia. The artist’s work also features innovative theatrical scenery, exhibition pavilions and literary works.
He was the grandson of a wealthy Moscow merchant. But his father, who received a good education and was passionate about art, had no business acumen and went bankrupt. The family had to move to the village, where Korovin spent most of his childhood. In the Moscow region, he began to notice the beauty of nature, which will become one of the main themes in his work. The boy drew from an early age, learning from his parents. Valentin Serov and Isaac Levitan, with whom he had been friends for many years, became fellow students of the future painter. The first teacher of Korovin was Alexei Savrasov, who had a great influence on the student, and after him Vasily Polenov. Even before completing his studies, Korovin visited Europe.
The works of the Impressionists made a huge impression on him, and from that moment on, the works of the young painter gravitate towards a new direction for Russia. A striking example is the early “Portrait of a Chorus Girl”. Conservative teachers did not approve of these innovations and the title of class artist was not given to the graduate.
Soon after graduation, Korovin went to France and adopted the subtleties of contemporary art for another year. After his return, he and Valentin Serov made a long trip to the northern places: they visited Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Sweden and Norway. The result was a large series of landscapes dedicated to the beauty of the Arctic.
New experience brought an order for the design and decoration of the Far North pavilion for the All-Russian Exhibition. The audience found it original and even sensational. This was followed by participation in the 1900 World’s Fair. In France, the panels and architecture of Konstantin Korovin were so highly appreciated that they made the artist a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, which is awarded to the best of the best.
Through Valentin Serov, Korovin met Savva Mamontov and designed his amateur theater. Here he met his future wife, an opera chorus. Since the 1900s, he began to collaborate professionally with the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters. His scenery for the plays “The Little Humpbacked Horse”, “Sadko” and “The Golden Cockerel” is especially famous. The artist created expressive sketches that conveyed the mood and emotions of the production. These works have changed the idea of the role of theatrical designer.
In the future, Crimean landscapes and still lifes became an important part of his work. In Gurzuf, he had a dacha, where many painters, writers and musicians stayed. From 1910 to 1917, the artist often visited it, working a lot and fruitfully. He created a large series of sunlit portraits and landscapes, often painting roses against the background of the sea.
last years of life
Konstantin Korovin survived the revolution calmly, as he came from a poor family. But he lost an apartment in Moscow and a village house, and his financial situation worsened. To earn money and improve his health, in 1922 he went to Paris and never returned.
For the rest of his life, the artist painted Russian landscapes from memory and designed theatrical performances. Almost without his eyesight, he discovered his literary talent and published stories in émigré magazines. Korovin died on September 11, 1939, ten days after the outbreak of World War II. His son Alexey, who immigrated to France with his parents, was also a renowned artist of the world of art. He was a member of the World of Art association from 1918 to 1921.