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 Marianna Verevkina

Born:   10 September [O.S. 29 August] 1860
Deceased:   6 February 1938

Russian artist, representative of expressionism in painting.


Marianna Verevkina was born into the family of General Vladimir Verevkin in Tula. The future artist spent her childhood in the Blagodat Estate of the Vitebsk Province. In 1876 she finished Mariinsky School in Vilno. In 1883, with assistance of the prominent artist Ilya Repin, who was a family friend and painted three well-known portraits of Marianna Verevkina the girl started taking private classes from I. M. Pryanishnikov. After moving to St. Petersburg in 1885, when her father was assigned Commandant of the Peter and Paul Fortress she joined Ilya Repin's studio to go on her training. In 1888 the artist accidentally wounded her right hand while taking part in hunting. In spite of long term treatment the hand was not completely recovered and so Marianna had to train her left hand to draw and paint. 

In 1891 Marianna met A. G. Yavlensky, who was destined to become her partner in life. In 1893 they organized their own studio in Petersburg and three years later moved to Munich, to attend A. Ashbe's Art School. In the 1890s — 1910s the couple traveled across Italy and France a lot. Marianna withheld from painting from 1902 till 1906. 
In 1908 Marianna Verevkina became one of the founders of the Munich New Society headed by Vassily Kandinsky and Yavlensky. In 1909–1911 she displayed her paintings at the first and second Izdebsky’s Salons at an exhibition of the Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds) art group in Russia. Starting from 1912 she was an exhibitor of the Russian avant-garde associations Blue Rider (Blaue Reiter) and Storm (Der Sturm).
Right before World War I Marianna Verevkina lived in Russia. In August 1914 she immigrated to Switzerland and settled with Yavlensky in Saint-Pre near Lausanne. The artists moved to Zurich in 1917 and to Ascona in the south of Switzerland in 1919. In 1922 they broke up. In 1924 Marianna Verevkina became one of the organizers of the Great Bear (Große Bär) art association.
Marianna Verevkina lived in Ascona till the end of her life and was laid to rest in the Russian cemetery there.
Marianna Verevkina’s early works of the 1890s, in many respects thanks to Ilya Repin's influence, had a propensity to the Itineraries’ tradition and were displayed at their 20th exhibition in St. Petersburg in 1892, as well as the All-Russian industrial and agricultural exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896. 
In the early 1900s the artist painted in impressionistic manner. The period from the late 1900s till the 1910s is traditionally considered her creative blossoming. Her artistic views and creative manner being kindred to expressionist masters and her participation in the exhibitions of Blue Rider and Storms made her one of the most important figures of the European avant-garde art. So it is not by mere chance that Marianna Verevkina is considered in Germany a representative of German expressionism. Her paintings of that time though criticized by Ilya Repin gained her world fame.
After the death of Marianna Verevkina in 1938, her retrospective exhibitions took place in Zurich in 1955 and 1965 and in Vuppertale in 1959. An extensive exhibition titled Marianna Verevkina. Art and Theory. The Artist’s Models and Friends (Marianne von Werefkin. Kunst und Teorie. Vorbilder und Künstlerfreunde) was held in Murnau Palace Museum (Schloßmuseum Murnau) in 2002. 
Works by Marianna Verevkina can be rarely found in Russian museum collections. Her creativity is much better represented in European, especially German museums, in particular in Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, Wiesbaden Museum, Murnau Palace Museum and so on. A considerable part of her creative heritage is kept in Ascona: in Marianna Verevkina Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art.

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