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Portrait of a chorus girl

Painting, 1887, 53.5×41.2 cm

Description of the artwork «Portrait of a chorus girl»

"Portrait of a chorus girl" Konstantin Korovin is considered to be one of the first Russian paintings, executed in impressionistic manner. Young Korovin, who Savrasovand Polenovin the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture and received there nickname Kostenka-colorist, intuitively experimenting in "Portrait of a chorus girl" with impressionistic and picturesque, it is a more purely artistic tasks (tonal relationships, the nature of the overlay brush strokes, play of light reflexes on the face and clothing) than the disclosure of the character of the heroine.

Question about the effects


Dora Kogan, author of books about the artists Korovine, The Vrubel, Holovyneexpresses confidence that "the Girl" "Korovin, regardless of any influence, makes the first steps towards impressionism".

Apparently, it really is. In the first half of the 1880s Korovin has not yet had the opportunity to visit abroad and see the work of the French. But abroad, including in Paris, spent a lot of time Vasily Polenov, one of the most educated artists of his time. Meeting Korovin and Polenov occurred in the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture: Korovin studied there, Polenov came to teach, replacing the landscape workshop of Alexei Savrasov. Together with Korovin studied Golovin, Levitanthe other artists. But only Korovin new teacher, seeing his work, asked the question: "You impressionist? Do you know them?" Korovin did not know.

But a novice painter was aware that he was a little interesting realistic ways of depicting that the methods of the Itinerants alien to his nature, EN plein air attracted him more than journalism, that sketch, the fragmentary nature of the paintings often occurs not from a lack of skill or time to finish the job, – rather it is the new reality of art. "Realism in painting has endless depth, – agreed to recognize Korovin – but let no one think that the Protocol is a work of fiction".

On the turnover of "Portrait of a chorus girl" its author would later write a kind of explanation of the picture, putting the circumstances of its creation and the subsequent perception: "In 1883 in Kharkov, the portrait of a chorus girl. Written on the balcony in public garden commercial. (...) Serovhaven't wrote in this time of portraits. Painting this study was found to understand??!! So the logs asked me to take this sketch from the show, as it appeals neither to the artists nor to the members – G. Mosolov and some. The model was a woman ugly, even more ugly. Konstantin Korovin".

The artist implies that you have not yet created masterpieces of Serovskiy "Girl with peaches"and "Girl in the sunlight"and so all photoimpressionism findings in "Portrait of a chorus girl" – his own. However, now experts of the Tretyakov gallery was established that in relation to the dates Korovin memory still brings: "the Girl" written in the same year as "Girl with peaches", – 1887, however, the innovative nature of the paintings Korovin that does not change.

About how new, strange, and for some, and unacceptable were Korovin "portrait of a chorus girl" is the fact that the Moscow society of lovers of fine arts in painting indignantly rejected; it was withdrawn from exhibition. Yes, and Korovin, for its part, "did not coincide" with a traditional painting on many points: when after School, he to expand their opportunities, he entered the St. Petersburg Academy of arts, lasted only three months and quit, completely disillusioned with the teaching methods.

As "Portrait of a chorus girl" was misled by Ilya Repin


In his memoirs Korovin tells an amusing story about how Savva Mamontovfooled Repin, forcing him to believe that "portrait of a chorus girl" – the work of a Spanish artist. In Mamontov's Korovin introduced his teacher, Vasily Polenov.

"For afternoon tea, – says Korovin – where were Vasnetsov, Polenov, Repin, I first saw the mammoth is a special person. He was a cheerful, simple.
Come to the workshop – offered Savva Ivanovich. – I'll show you a portrait of one of the Spanish artist. Ilya efimych saw and said that the Spaniards – well done in painting: all the writing is bright, colorful.
Look in the Studio and on the easel is my sketch head of a woman in a blue hat in the background of the leaves of the garden, illuminated by the sun. This study took my earlier logs.
"Yes," said Repin, look at my sketch. The Spaniard! It can be seen. Bold, juicy wrote. Well. But it's painting for painting. The Spaniard, however, with the temperament...
Savva Ivanovich laughed, looking at me, then said:
– But listen, and if it is not Spanish, and Russian, then?
– As Russian? No, it's not Russian...
– There he is Hispanic! – said Mamontov and pointing at me. – What do you want? Also dark, what is not a Spaniard?..
And Savva Ivanovich, hugging me, laughing. Vasnetsov, came and said:
– Played us Sawa. No, it's true you wrote?
– I speak English. – It's me."

"Portrait of a chorus girl" Korovin: what next?


Familiarity with Mamontov turned to Korovin's winning ticket: first, pretty soon he will be known as a decorator at the Mamontov Private Opera, and secondly, in 1888 Savva Ivanovich took his young friend abroad. "My young companion Kostenka– Mammoths narrated in the Travel notes, – as soon as we crossed the Austrian border, began to come to the indescribable delight of all foreign, he felt free from the oppressive and searchingly glance, the Russian policeman".

Konstantin Korovin repeatedly will visit Italy, France, see the old Italian masters and French new. And already in 1900 artist will win Paris: he was awarded the international prize at the Paris world fair. Then thank Korovin write to his teacher, discerned in him the first impressionist when "Kostenka-colorist" did not even know of the word itself: "My dear, no one ever encouraged me, so no one would have lifted my spirit, if I hadn't met You. It is the everlasting my mind. You know, Vasily, that Your way, the sincerity and honesty I... In Paris asked me whose I am a student and where he studied? I wrote: Professor Polenoff. Moscou".

...In 1923, the year Korovin will be forced to permanently leave Russia to France. Alexander BenoisKorovin called the first Russian impressionist.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas on cardboard

Date of creation: 1887

Size: 53.5×41.2 cm

Artwork in selections: 12 selections

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