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Zinaida Serebryakova – female painter

Zinaida Serebryakova. Self-portrait At the Dressing-Table, 1909

Zinaida Serebryakova. Self-portrait At the Dressing-Table, 1909

Zinaida Serebryakova was a Russian artist, member of the World of Art, one of the first Russian Women included in the history of painting.
Zinaida was born on December 12, 1884 in the estate Neskuchnoye, in Kharkov province, into one of the most famous art family Benoit-Lansere. Her grandfather, Nikolai Benois was a famous architect; her father, Evgeni Lansere was a famous sculptor, and her mother Ekaterina Nikolaevna, the sister of Alexander Benois, was a young graphic artist. One of her brothers, Nikolai was a talented architect, the other – Evgeni played an important role in the history of Russian and Soviet art of monumental painting and graphics. British actor and writer Peter Ustinov was Zinaida’s relative.
In 1900, Zinaida entered art school, founded by Princess Tenisheva. In 1901 she studied at the art school headed by Ilya Repin. In 1903-1905 she was a student of portrait painter Osip Braz. In 1902 she traveled to Italy. In 1905-1906 she studied at the Academy de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris.

In 1905 Zinaida married Boris Serebryakov.
Zinaida’s children:
– Evgeni Serebryakov (1906 – 1990) – architect. Since 1945 he participated in the restoration of architectural monuments of Peterhof.
– Alexander Serebryakov (1907 – 1995). He worked on the design of the interiors of museums, shops, residences, park pavilions.
– Tatiana Serebryakova (1912-1989) was a theater artist, Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
– Ekaterina Serebryakova (1913-2014) was the artist, founding member and honorary president of the Zinaida Serebryakova Foundation in France.

Her self-portrait At the Dressing-Table (1909) brought her fame. It was shown at a large exhibition organized by the World of Art in 1910.
Zinaida met the October Revolution in her native estate Neskuchnoye. Her life suddenly changed. In 1919, her husband Boris died of typhus. She stayed with her four children and sick mother without a livelihood. At that time, she drew her most tragic work – House of Cards – showing four orphaned children.
In December 1920, Zinaida moved to Petrograd. During that period she drew pictures on the themes of theatrical life.
In the fall of 1924 Serebryakova went to Paris, having received a commission for a large decorative mural. She was going to return to Russia, where she left her mother and children. However, she was unable to come back. Only in 1947 Zinaida received French citizenship.
The artist traveled a lot. In 1928 and 1930 she went to Africa, visited Morocco. Nature of Africa impressed her and she drew the Atlas Mountains, Arab women, Africans in bright turbans.
In times of Khrushchev thaw Soviet authorities allowed to contact Serebryakova. In 1960, after 36 years of separation, her daughter Tatiana (Tata) visited her mother.
In 1966, large exhibitions of Serebryakova’s works were held in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev. She became popular in Russia.
On September 19, 1967, Zinaida Serebryakova, died in Paris at the age of 82. She was buried in the cemetery of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois.

Zinaida Serebryakova – female painter