Konstantin Alexeivitch Korovin
THE MOULIN ROUGE
Gouache on Board
21¾ x 15 Inches
Signed Lower Left, "Constant Korovine" and Titled, "Paris"
Previously with P. Gales Gallery, Paris (from label verso)
In 1875, Korovin entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied with Vasily Perov and Alexei Savrasov. From 1881-1882, Korovin spent a year at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, before returning to the Moscow School to study under a new teacher Vasily Polenov until 1886. In 1885, Korovin traveled to Paris and Spain. "Paris was a shock for me … Impressionists… in them I found everything for what I was scolded back at home, in Moscow", he later wrote.
In 1888, Korovin traveled with Mamontov to Italy and Spain, where he produced the painting On the Balcony, Spanish Women Leonora and Ampara. Konstantin traveled within Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia while continuing to paint in the Impressionist and, later, in the Art Nouveau style. In 1900, Korovin designed the Central Asia section of the Russian Empire pavilion at the Paris World Fair; and was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Korovin focused his attention on the theatre, designing sets for Stanislavski's dramatic productions, as well as Mariinsky's operas and ballets. He undertook stage design for Mariinsky's productions of Faust (1899), The Little Humpbacked Horse (1901) and Sadko (1906) among others.
In 1905, Korovin was appointed Academician of Painting, and in 1909-1913, to a professorship at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. One of the artist's favourite themes was Paris. He painted A Paris Cafe (1890s), Cafe de la Paix (1905), La Place de la Bastille (1906), Paris at Night, Le Boulevard Italien (1908), Night Carnival (1901), Paris in the Evening (1907) and others.
In 1923, Korovin moved to Paris on the advice of the Commissar of Enlightenment, Anatoliy Vasilievich Lunacharsky, to help cure his heart condition and also to seek surgical assistance for his handicapped son. A large exhibition of Korovin's works was planned but the paintings were all stolen the night before the opening and Korovin was left penniless. In the following years, he remained in Paris, producing numerous, bright Post-Impressionist views of the boulevards and active night-life, deftly painted in gouache with a high degree of chiaroscuro, of which the present work is an outstanding example.
In the last years of his life, Korovin continued to produced stage designs for many of the major theatres of Europe, America, Asia and Australia, the most celebrated of which was his scenery for Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel at the Turin Opera House.
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E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. 7, p. 950-951; Thieme-Becker Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zu Gengenwart, Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 1992, Vol. 21, p. 322; Mallett’s Index of Artists, Daniel Trowbridge Mallett, Peter Smith: New York 1948 Edition, R.R. Bowker Company 1935, p. 236; Dictionnaire Biographique des Artistes Contemporains, 1910-1934, Edouard-Joseph, Paris Art & Edition 1930-1934, Vol. 2, p. 262; et al.