Russian, 1856 - 1910
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The pioneer of new art in Russia. After studying art and law at St. Petersburg, from 1884-89 he worked on the restoration of the 12th century frescos in the Church of Saint Cyril in Kiev. He also executed original frescoes there. Then he moved to Moscow, where he designed sets for Savva Mamontov and decorative panels for his house. His best known works are the series illustrating Lermontov's poem 'The Demon'. Vrubel, still little known in the West, is a major Russian artist who influenced an entire generation of painters, including Kandinsky and Malevich, through his symbology and his figures from folk-tales; these express both anguish and the premonition of total disaster. His declared aspiration was to "elevate the soul by grandiose images beyond all everyday pettiness". His exaltation unfortunately ended in madness in 1902. But he continued to work in moments of lucidity, creating visionary works in which the spirit of his times is reflected.
A selection of art exhibitions which have featured this
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