Artist - Russian impressionism museum
Collection

Pyotr Konchalovsky

21.02.1879 - 02.02.1956

“What will future generations make of these dozens, these hundreds of canvases by Konchalovsky?” – Abram Efros was asking , as early as the 1930s. They are likely to have the impression, the famous art critic maintained, that regardless of all the hardships of that time, Konchalovsky had been surrounded by “a graciously peaceful, idle life with plenty of food, apple trees blossoming, women bathing in streams, an abundance of fruits, flowers arranged on the table, children sleeping festively under pink satin sheets, and young people playing the piano, and hunting a lot”. At the beginning of the 20th century Konchalovsky was one of the founding members of the “Jack of Diamonds” group, and among the “daredevils” of art, often scandalizing middle-class audiences with his experiments. After attending a private art school in Kharkov, he took evening classes at the Stroganov, then studied at the Academy Julien in Paris, and finally enrolled at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, reckoning himself a Cezannist and gravitating towards European painting. Even as a mature artist Konchalovsky was often dissatisfied with himself, frequently destroying his newly finished works. He had a studio on the Garden Ring, right next to the Triumfalnaya Square, in the same building as Mikhail Bulgakov. In 1907 Konchalovsky, with his wife and children, was a visitor to the Belkino estate in Kaluga province, and it is thought that his inclinations towards Impressionism started from that time. However, after the revolution his manner of painting became more realistic, and he became established as one of the prominent masters of Soviet painting. His wife Olga, the daughter of the artist Vasily Surikov, was both a great admirer and a judge of his artwork. If, looking at a painting, she happened to say - “it doesn’t look right”, then the canvas was doomed and either disposed of completely or mercilessly primed for a new piece.