Saturday, January 13, 2007


This beautiful picture by Konstantin Somov is a oil paintings titled Pastorale Russe measuring 15 x 18½ in. (38.1 x 47 cm.).

Konstantin Andreevich Somov was born in St. Petersburg on November 30, 1869 into the family of the senior curator at the Hermitage, artist and art historian, Andrei Ivanovich Somov and his wife, Nadezhda Constantinovna, an excellent musician. From 1888 till 1897, he studied at the Academy of Arts, where from 1894 he took a course at Ilya Repin’s studio.

In autumn of 1897 he left the Academy and went to Paris, where his friends, Benois, Lanceray, Bakst, Ober, Ostroumova had already left for. In Paris they frequented various private studios and the Académie Colarossi. In 1898 after return to St. Petersburg, the friends founded World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) society, with their own magazine.In 1913 Somov became an Academician, and in 1918 a professor of the Art College.

At the end of 1923 Somov immigrated to the USA. He stayed in the USA for one year : “my art is absolutely alien to America,” he wrote in one of his letters. In summer of 1925, he moved to France, near Paris, where he spent the last 14 years of his life. In this period he painted mainly portraits.

He died in Paris in 1939.This oil on canvas sold for
£2,696,000 ($5,251,808) at Christie's London in December 2006.

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