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Verevkina Marianna Vladimirovna
Pseudonyms,autonyms and aliases: Marianne von Werefkin, Mariamna 1860–1938  

VEREVKINA Marianna (Mariamna) Vladimirovna (Marianne von Werefkin)

August 29 (September 10), 1860 (Tula) — February 6, 1938 (Ascona, Switzerland)

Painter, graphic artist

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Верёвкина, Марианна Владимировна


VEREVKINA Marianna (Mariamna) Vladimirovna (Marianne von Werefkin)

August 29 (September 10), 1860 (Tula) — February 6, 1938 (Ascona, Switzerland)

Painter, graphic artist

Marianna Verevkina was the daughter of Vladimir Verevkin, an infantry general.  She spent her childhood in Blagodat, her parents’ estate in Vitebsk province. In 1876 she graduated from the Mariinskoe women’s college in Vilna. One of the friends of her family was the famous Russian realist painter Ilya Repin, who executed at least 3 portraits of Verevkina and introduced her to the painter Illarion Pryanishnikov. The latter started to give her private lessons in 1883. In 1885 Verevkina’s father was appointed commander of the Peter and Paul fortress and the family moved to St. Petersburg. She began her studies under Repin.  In 1888 Verevkina accidentally shot her right hand while hunting. Despite continuous treatment, her hand remained crippled, so she had to learn to paint with her left hand. In 1891 she met the young painter Alexei Jawlensky, who later became her life partner.  In 1893 Verevkina and Jawlensky opened a studio in St. Petersburg and in 1896 they went to Munich to study in Anton Ažbe’s renowned school of painting. From the 1890s to the 1910s Verevkina and Jawlensky travelled extensively in France and Italy.  In 1902 due to family reasons (birth of her son) Verevkina abandoned painting until 1906. In 1908 she was one of the founders of Munich New Artists’ Association which was headed by Jawlensky and Wassily Kandinsky. In 1909–1911 she showed her works at the First and Second exhibitions of the Izdebsky’s International Art Salon, and at the exhibition of Bubnovy Valet (“Jack of Diamonds”) in Russia. Since 1912 Verevkina exhibited her works at the exhibitions of avant-garde groups Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”) and Der Sturm (“Storm”).

After the outbreak of the World War I, Verevkina and Jawlensky returned to Russia.  In August 1914 they moved to Switzerland and settled in St. Prex (not far from Lausanne). In 1917 they moved to Zurich. In 1919 they took their residence in Ascona, a town in the south of Switzerland.  In 1922 Verevkina broke up with Jawlensky. In 1924 she founded the artistic society Der Große Bär (“Big Bear”, “Ursa Major”).

Verevkina spent the rest of her life in Ascona and was buried in the town’s Russian cemetery.

In 1892 she took part in the 20th exhibition of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (TPKhV), and in 1896 her works were shown at the All-Russian Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod. 

After the death of the painter her works were shown at retrospective exhibitions in Zurich (1938, 1955 and 1965) and Wuppertal (1959). In 2002 a large show of her works, titled Marianne von Werefkin. Kunst und Teorie. Vorbilder und Künstlerfreunde (“Marianne von Werefkin. Her art and theory. Her models and friends”) was organized by the Schloßmuseum Murnau (Murnau Castle Museum).


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