Family, 1910. Marianna Verevkina

Marianna Verevkina – expressionist artist from Russia

Abandoned, 1907. Marianna Verevkina
Abandoned, 1907

Marianna Vladimirovna Verevkina was a famous Russian expressionist artist of the early 20th century. The work of Marianna Verevkina is highly valued in the West: most of her paintings are kept in Germany and Switzerland, and a street is named after her in Munich. In Russia, the works of this author remained unknown for a long time, but gradually arouse more and more interest.

Autumn, School, 1907. Marianna Verevkina
Autumn, School, 1907

Biography of Marianna Verevkina

Marianna Verevkina was born in Tula on September 10, 1860. Her parents were hereditary nobles: her grandfather was a governor, her father was a general and a hero of the Crimean War. Mother came from an old princely family and was engaged in painting – it was she who gave her daughter the first drawing lessons. At the age of 14, the girl already had her own studio house in the “Grace” estate in Lithuania, where the family moved after her military father.

Since 1880 Marianna Verevkina studied with Ilya Repin, who appreciated the talented student and even called her “the Russian Rembrandt”. Later, on his advice, she honed the technique with Illarion Pryanishnikov. The young artist adheres to the traditions of realism. In 1888, there was an accident: while hunting, she shot herself in the right hand. To return to drawing, she had to undergo a long rehabilitation course in Germany, where Verevkina gets acquainted with the advanced trends in art.

Marianna Verevkina. Church of St. Anne in Vilna, 1913
Church of St. Anne in Vilna, 1913

Having already achieved some success and exhibiting with the Wanderers, the artist suddenly abandoned her own work for a long time. This was led to an acquaintance with the novice painter Alexei Yavlensky, a relationship with whom lasted almost thirty years. Marianna Verevkina decided to devote herself to the education and career of a loved one, sacrificing personal interests. At first she studied with Javlensky in her own studio. After the death of her father, becoming a wealthy and independent woman, she went with him to Munich.

Family, 1910. Marianna Verevkina
Family, 1910

The peak of the artist’s creativity

Marianne returned to active work only in 1906 – after she learned about the infidelity of the chosen one. Before that, they visited France and got acquainted with the works of the Post-Impressionists and Fauves. In the new paintings, Verevkina appears as a completely different artist: the influence of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch is felt. She actively participates in creative life: she founded the New Munich Art Association, which included Wassily Kandinsky, and after 1912 she joined the Blue Horseman group (Der Blaue Reiter).

When Germany started a war with Russia, Verevkina and Yavlensky had to urgently move to Switzerland. Their financial situation worsened, so Marianne had to think about additional earnings. She collaborates with the theater and even gets a job at a pharmaceutical company. In 1921, Yavlensky finally came to success at an exhibition in Germany, and he left the 61-year-old artist alone and without funds.

Gemini, 1909. Marianna Verevkina
Gemini, 1909

Marianna Verevkina was able to overcome this gap: she painted pictures, organized the art association “Big Dipper” and even opened a museum of modern art in the Swiss town of Ascona, where she lived in recent years. The artist died on February 6, 1938, and almost all the inhabitants of Ascona attended her funeral. This city currently houses the largest collection of Verevkina’s works: about 100 paintings, hundreds of graphic works and personal diaries.

The most famous paintings by Marianna Verevkina

Marianna Verevkina’s paintings are distinguished by their drama and rich colors. Despite the influence of many contemporaries, the artist managed to develop her own style – bright and recognizable. Here are some of her most famous works:

  1. “Fall. School “(1907). Apart from the self-portrait, it is with this work that Verevkina’s work is most often illustrated. The coloring makes this picture alarming, and the black tree trunks look like a lattice that traps the schoolgirls.
  2. The Storm (1908). A classic plot that demonstrates the powerlessness of man before the forces of nature Women can represent the four elements depicted in the picture.
  3. Dancer Alexander Sakharov (1909). This is a portrait of the first representative of free dance in Europe among men. Sakharov was a friend of Marianna Verevkina and studied painting himself, but suddenly decided to devote himself to a new type of creativity.
  4. Skaters (1911). A mysterious night landscape with dark silhouettes gliding counterclockwise under a greenish moon.
Marianne Von Werefkin Drawing
Marianne Von Werefkin Drawing
Night shift, 1924
Night shift, 1924
Stone pit, 1907
Stone pit, 1907
The Chiffonnier 1917
The Chiffonnier 1917
Women's boarding house, 1907
Women’s boarding house, 1907