Kustodiev Boris Mikhailovich
1878–1927  



Кустодиев, Борис Михайлович

Biography

KUSTODIEV Boris Mikhailovich

February 23, 1878 (Astrakhan) — May 26, 1927 (Leningrad)

Painter, graphic artist, scene-designer, sculptor

Boris Kustodiev was born to a family of teacher of Russian language and literature, who taught at the religious school and gymnasium in Astrakhan. In 1887–1892 Kustodiev studied icon painting in Astrakhan religious school, in 1892–1896 — in Astrakhan theological seminary. At the same time he took private lessons in drawing by P. A. Vlasov; he also attended Astrakhan circle of painting and drawing lovers.

In 1896 Kustodiev moved to St. Petersburg. During one month Kustodiev attended the studio of academician L. E. Dmitriev-Kavkazsky. In the same year he entered the Higher Art Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (VKhU) under the Imperial Academy of Arts (IAKh). Kustodiev studied under the guidance of V. E. Savinsky and I. I. Tvorozhnikov, since 1898 — in the studio of I. E. Repin. In 1900–1903 he was awarded personal grant of Nicholas II of Russia. Every year Kustodiev travelled to the Caucasus, the Crimea and Volga region for creative work.

Kustodiev became famous when he was a student, and participated in many exhibitions. Since 1900 the artist showed his works at the Spring exhibitions in the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1900 Kustodiev was awarded silver medal for the painting Festivities at the International exhibition in Brussels, in 1901 — small gold medal for the portrait of I. Y. Bilibin at the International art exhibition in Munich. In the same year he exposed his works at the exhibition of the Vienna Secession. In 1903 Kustodiev was awarded Grand Prix of the Union of Austrian Artists for the portrait of A. P. Varfolomeev at the International art exhibition in Munich.

In 1901–1903 Kustodiev together with I. S. Kulikov assisted I. E. Repin in painting the picture The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on the 7th of May in 1901, on the day of the 100th anniversary of its establishment. In 1903 the artist was awarded gold medal of the IAKh for the painting Market in Village; he graduated from the Academy with the title of class artist. He was also awarded the pensioner’s trip abroad. In 1904 Kustodiev visited Spain and France as a pensioner of the IAKh, studied in the studio of René Ménard in Paris. In the same year the painter became one of the founders of the New Society of Artists in St. Petersburg. In 1907 Kustodiev joined the Union of Russian Artists (SRKh); in 1910 he became a member of the reborn group Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”).

Kustodiev worked a lot in book and magazine graphic art. In 1905–1906 the artist worked for the Zhupel (“Bugbear”) and Adskaya Pochta (“Hellish Mail”) magazines; he also took part in work on the edition Calendar of Russian Revolution.

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