Konstantin Korovin – Mozart of painting
Konstantin Korovin was a Russian painter, stage designer, teacher and writer.
Konstantin was born on November 23 (December 5), 1861 in Moscow into a wealthy merchant family of Old Believers. He is a brother of artist Sergey Korovin. At the age of fourteen Konstantin entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Later Korovin went to St. Petersburg and entered the Academy of Arts, but three months later he left it as he was disappointed by the outdated teaching methods, and returned to Moscow.
In 1894 Korovin together with his friend, the artist Serov, made the trip to the North. The result was a landscape Harbour in Norway, Northern Lights, Murmansk coast.
Fame came to the young artist with his Portrait of a Chorister (1883).
He traveled to Paris in 1887, 1892 and 1893, where he became acquainted with Impressionism.
In the 1900s the artist worked in theater, creating costumes and scenery for the dramatic productions, as well as opera and ballet. In particular, he designed such performances as Faust (1899), Humpbacked Horse (1901), Sadko (1906), The Golden Cockerel (1909). Korovin worked for the Bolshoi Theater, the Mariinsky Theatre and La Scala in Milan.
For decades, Korovin participated in exhibitions of artists from different directions and associations – Peredvizhniky (the Wanderers), World of Art, Soyuz of 36, the Union of Russian Artists.
Since 1901, Korovin and Valentin Serov taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
During the First World War Korovin worked as a camouflage consultant at the headquarters of one of the Russian armies.
In 1922, the artist went abroad and settled in France. One of the artist’s favorite themes was Paris. In the town landscapes A Paris Cafe (1890s), Cafe de la Paix (1905), La Place de la Bastille (1906, private collection, Moscow) one notices the seemingly fortuitous composition, and the artist’s free manner of painting and striving towards the richness of colors.
In the last years of his life he worked fruitfully in many of the major theatres of Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
Konstantin Korovin died on September 11, 1939 in Paris.