Konstantin Korovin

Konstantin Korovin

Style: Other

Lived: November 23, 1861 - September 11, 1939 (19th - 20th century)

Nationality: Russia

Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin was born on November 23 1861 in Moscow to a merchant family. His father earned a University degree and was more interested in arts and music than the family business established by Konstantin's grandfather.

In 1875 Konstantin entered the Moscow School of painting, sculpturing and architecture, where he learned from Alexei Savrasov and Vasily Perov. His brother, Sergey was already a student of the School. During their scholar years Korovins became friends with Valentin Serov and Isaac Levitan, they kept this friendship through the whole of their lives.

In 1881 Korovin spent a year at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, but returned disappointed to Moscow. He studied at the Moscow School of painting, sculpturing and architecture under the new teacher Vasily Polenov until 1886.

In 1885, Korovin traveled to Paris and Spain where he got introduced to impressionist art. In 1885 Korovin worked for Mamontov's Opera house. He designed the stage decor for Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, Léo Delibes' Lakme and Georges Bizet's Carmen.

In 1888, Korovin traveled to Italy and Spain. Later he traveled within Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia. He was painting in the Impressionist and later in the Art Nouveau style. Korovin's subsequent works was strongly influenced by his travel to the North. In 1888 he was captivated by the stern northern landscapes, as seen in The Coast of Norway and The Northern Sea.

In the 1890s, Korovin became a member of the Mir iskusstva art group.

In 1900, Korovin designed the Central Asia section of the Russian Empire pavilion on the Paris World Fair; and was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.

In the early 20th century Korovin focused on theatre. He moved from Mamontov's opera to Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. He let go of the tradition of the stage decor, which only indicated the place of action. Korovin produced a mood decor, which conveyed the emotions of the performance.

In 1905, Korovin became an Academician of Painting, and between 1909 and1913 he was a professor at the Moscow School of painting, sculpturing and architecture.

During World War I Korovin worked as a camouflage consultant at the headquarters of the Russian army and was often seen at the front line.

In 1923 Korovin moved to Paris to cure his heart condition and help his handicapped son. There was supposed to be a large exhibition of Korovin's works but the works were stolen and he was left penniless. For years to come he had to make ends meet.

In the last years of his life he produced stage designs for many of the major theatres of Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Korovin died in Paris on September 11, 1939.

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