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John Milner

(Yevgrafovich)

(b Kharkiv, Dec 12, 1885; d Novodevichy, Moscow, May 31, 1953).

Ukrainian painter, designer, sculptor and teacher, active mainly in Russia.

The son of a railway engineer and a poet, he attended school in Kharkiv and trained as a merchant sea cadet, visiting Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Asia Minor, Africa, Greece and Italy. He began his painting career as an icon painter in Moscow, but he subsequently attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1902–3), studying under Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov, before moving to the Penza School of Art (1904–10), where his tutors were Ivan Goryushkin-Sorokopudov (1873–1954) and Aleksey Afanas’ev (1850–1920). During the summer months he made copies of Russian church frescoes. This awareness of traditional painting techniques complemented the adventurous and Westernized art of his Moscow tutors Korovin and Serov. Between 1908 and 1911 he also became friendly with the Burlyuk brothers and Mikhail Larionov, who were instrumental in the evolution of Russian ...