Pavel Shmarov was born in Voronezh into a family of artisan workers. In 1894 he became an auditor at the Imperial Academy of Artists, studying under the master Ilya Repin.
One of his fellow students was Anna Ostroymova-Lebedeva, who remembered the young artist as: “‘Mitrich’ his friends called him, in mockery of his extreme youth. He had a lot of promise. He aspired to complex compositions, to masses and large sizes.”
He received the title of “artist” and the gold medal and an allowance to travel in Europe for four years. Pavel Sharov visited Vienna, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Spain with Boris Kustodiev. He also studied for a period in Paris at the Julienne Academy. Shmarov’s specialty was portraiture, which was praised both at home, where aristocrats ordered portraits from him, and in France, where the artist emigrated to in 1923. There, stars of Russia abroad posed for him, such as the opera bass singer Fyodr Chiaplin and the dancer Serge Lifar.
“Self-Portrait on a Green Background” - is one of the last works of the artist. The creator of carefree female images, with “Self-Portrait”, Pavel Shmarov looks intently, even stressed. Psychology and a darkened color palette of the portrait make us remember the work of old European masters.