Boris Michailowitsch Kustodijew

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Self-portrait in front of the Trinity Monastery by Sergiev Posad , 1912, Uffizi Gallery

Boris Michailowitsch Kustodijew ( Russian Борис Михайлович Кустодиев , scientific transliteration Boris Michajlovič Kustodiev ; born February 23 / March 7, 1878 in Astrakhan ; † May 26, 1927 in Leningrad ) was a Russian / Soviet painter and graphic artist .


Born as the son of a high school teacher, he began to study theology after finishing school . On the side he took private painting lessons with PA Vlasov in Astrakhan from 1893 to 1896 . From 1896 to 1903 he continued his education at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art , among others under the direction of WJ Sawinski and Ilya Efimowitsch Repin . During this time he participated together with Ivan Kulikov in the work on Repin's painting Ceremony of the State Council on May 7, 1901, the centenary of its foundation (Заседание Государственного совета) . At that time he also created several portraits of Russian contemporaries, including by Ivan Bilibin (1901).

In 1904 he finished his studies and went on a trip abroad. This took him to France and Spain in 1904 , to Italy in 1907 and to Austria and Germany in 1909, and once more to Italy. The organizer of this study trip was the New Society of Artists. Many portraits and genre paintings were created during this time .

After his return to Russia, Boris Kustodijew was appointed a member of the Petersburg Art Academy in 1909. Two years earlier, in 1907, he became a member of the Association of Russian Artists . In 1911 he joined the Mir Iskusstwa artist movement. Because of tuberculosis , he had to take a creative break on medical advice. He went to a private clinic in Switzerland for a year . From 1916 he was paraplegic.

From 1913 he taught at the New Art Academy in Saint Petersburg (Leningrad). After the October Revolution of 1917 , he was active in a variety of ways, primarily devoting himself to current issues of the revolution. This is how templates for posters , calendars , magazines and books were created . He was also active in lithography . In 1923 he became a member of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia . He died in Leningrad in 1927.

Kustodiev created vivid, luminous and lush paintings . He also devoted himself to the illustration of books. He illustrated books by Nikolai Gogol , Michail Lermontow and Leo Tolstoy . In the period from 1905 to 1907 he worked for the satirical magazine Schupel (German: Schreckgespenst ). From 1911 he designed occasional decorations for theater performances . Most of his works are exhibited in the Russian Museum , the Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum , the Astrakhan Art Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery .

A picture odalisque from 1919 that the Russian patron Wiktor Felixowitsch Wekselberg bought from Christie’s for 1.5 million pounds sterling in 2005 turned out to be a forgery.

Works (selection)

  • Morning (Утро) (1904)
  • Fair stalls (Балаганы)
  • Fairs (Ярмарки)
  • Rural Holidays (Деревенские праздники)
  • Mardi Gras Weeks (Масленицы)
  • Self-portrait in front of the Trinity Monastery by Sergiev Posad , 1912, Uffizi Gallery
  • Holiday in honor of the 2nd Comintern Congress on Juritsky Square (Праздник в честь 2-го конгресса Коминтерна на площади Урицкого) (1921)

Web links

Commons : Boris Kustodiev  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Борис Кустодиев  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Richter thinks images are wrong. In: FAZ , August 4, 2012.


  • Mark Grigorjewitsch Etkind: Boris Kustodijew: painting, drawing, book graphics, stage design . Translated from the Russian by Bernd Berberich, et al. Aurora-Kunstverlag, Leningrad 1983.