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 Artur  Fonvizin


Born:   11 January 1883
Deceased:   19 August 1973

Soviet water-colour painter

      

Artur Vladimirovich Fonvizin was born into the family of a forest warden. In 1901 he started studies in the Moscow University of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, but was expelled together with his two friends, Mikhail Larionov and Serge Sudeikin, for arranging an exhibition without permit of the university administration.
In 1904-06 he went on his education in private studios of Munich, Germany.
In the first decade of the century he was an active and noticeable member of famous exhibitions, such as the Blue Rose, The Wreath, Salons of the Golden Fleece, Venok-Stefanos, and the World of Art.
In the 1920s he became a member of the Makovets association, taught in studios of the Tambov Proletkult, and the Nizhny Novgorod art technical school.
At the early stage of his creativity Artur Fonvizin worked in the so-called lyrical primitive style in line with Symbolism. Fonvizin's canvasses of that time stand out with refined palette. They seem to be radiating some flickering mysterious light that creates a certain state of mind. Such are his works The Bride (1902), Leda, and Composition with Christ (both 1904).
However, today Artur Fonvizin is better known as an unsurpassed virtuoso of water color painting. By the 1930s he finally selected his main and favourite water color technique and revealed romantically elevated system of his art. He contoured a circle of his favorite themes related to festive images of the theater and the circus and children’s memories in cheerful haze. He painted from life without any pencil contouring; those were air-light flower still lifes, hazy landscapes, and most of all portraits.
His favourite characters were actresses, often wearing stage costumes for a certain role and plunged into elated emotional atmosphere of the stage (the Portrait of D. V. Zerkalova, the Portrait of Yu. S. Glizer, both 1940, etc.). His childhood love for the circus made him draw countless color sketches of elegant equestrians (the Circus series, the 1940s-70s). Romantic haze coats his characters from popular romance songs and children’s memories of provincial life.
Meanwhile neither improvisational freedom of his water color painting nor romantic pensiveness of his characters was in line to official art directives of the 1930s and 1940s. Thus, Artur Fonvizin's creativity was subjected to criticism attacks in the printed media. During the war years he was exiled to Kazakhstan for some time due to his German origin. Nonetheless the artist remained true to his talent and developed and varied the same favourite motives of his till the end of his life.


Tags: Artur Fonvizin Russian Artists    




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