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date: 19 October 2019

Kuznetsov, Pavel (Varfolomeyevich)locked

(b Saratov, Nov 17, 1878; d Moscow, Feb 21, 1968).
  • Marian Burleigh-Motley

Extract

(Varfolomeyevich)

(b Saratov, Nov 17, 1878; d Moscow, Feb 21, 1968).

Russian painter. After initial training in Saratov, he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1897 to 1904 under Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov. Rejecting the style of his teachers, Kuznetsov soon became the leader of a group of Moscow artists who looked to Viktor Borisov-Musatov and Mikhail Vrubel’ for inspiration. He helped organize exhibitions in Saratov called Alaya roza (‘Crimson rose’; 1904) and in Moscow Golubaya roza (‘Blue rose’; 1907), which gave a name to the Blue Rose group. In both exhibitions the favourite Symbolist themes of dreams and visions predominated. The critics denounced the works as ‘decadent’—long a favourite word of abuse for Russia’s Symbolist poets. Kuznetsov’s tempera painting Blue Fountain (1905; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.) embodies the aesthetic attitudes of the group. Around a fountain, symbolizing life, a group of shadowy figures in a predominantly blue space reach towards one another in attitudes of yearning....

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