L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Of roses, porcelain, and other floral subjects - selected work of Alexander Golovin

Circa 1910-20.

Golovin is another of the amazing "Silver Age" Russian artists who is still not well enough known in the West. The breadth of is oeuvre is impressive: portraits, stage design, costume design, still-lifes, quite magical landscapes. I love his vigorous but still refined brushwork, the harmonic elegance of his palette - oh, the sumptuous greens and pinks.... In the group featured here, I've focused on his floral still-lifes and examples of the way flowers insinuate themselves into so much of his work: woven into fabric, painted onto porcelain, or just the heavy clusters of his particularly vivid, nearly muscular roses.

Umbriyskaya Valley, circa 1910s.

AlexanderYakovlevich Golovin (1 March 1/17February 1863, Moscow – 17 April 1930, Detskoye Selo), Russian artist and stage designer. He initially studied architecture, but later switched to painting and went on to attend the Académie Colarossi in Paris. After completing his studies, due to financial difficulties, he found work as an interior painter and decorator; he also tried his hand at, among other creative ventures, furniture design. In 1900 he contributed to the design of the Russian Empire pavilion at the Paris World's Fair, and in the following year he moved to the Saint Petersburg. It was here that he came into his own as a stage designer, adept at cohesively combining elements of symbolism, modernism, and historicism. He designed important opera, ballet, and theatrical productions for the likes of Stanislavski, Meyerhold, and Diaghilev; perhaps most memorably, he designed the original 1910 Diaghilev production of Stravinsky's L'Oiseau de feu ballet.

Detail of above.

After the Revolution of 1917, Golovin found less and less work in the theater, and focused more on painting and graphic illustration. He died in Tsarskoe Selo (called Detskoye Selo during the Soviet period) a month after his sixty-seventh birthday.

 Maria Troyanova, 1916.
Phloxes, 1911.
Art scholar Erich F. Gollerbakh, 1923.
Detail of above.
Still-Life with Porcelain and flowers, 1915.
Singer Valentina (Euphrosyne) Ivanovna Cuza, circa 1910s.
Circa 1910s.
Self-portrait, 1912.
Self-portrait, 1927.
Spanish Woman on a Balcony, 1911. From about 1906 the artist completed several paintings of "Spanish" women, most of them rather odd
looking, some with even a rather sinister aspect. Frankly, they often look most like men dressed up as stereotypical gypsy temptresses.
Detail of above.
A Spanish Woman in Green, 1906-07.
Spanish Woman, 1907-08.
Spanish Woman, 1908.
Still-Life with Porcelain Vases and Flowers, ND.
The tenor Dmitri Smirnov as the Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, 1909.
Theatrical director Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold, 1917.
Euphemia Pavlovna Nosova, 1916.
Detail of above.
Finnish Girl, 1908.
Marina Erastovna Makovskaya, 1912.
Girl and Porcelain, "Frosya", 1916.
Self-portrait, 1927.
Woman with a Black Hat, circa 1910s.
Detail of above. I think these roses are magnificent.

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