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MIKHAIL LARIONOW

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A wonderful painter, a brilliant draftsman, an original theater decorator, a book illustrator, a keen ballet researcher, choreographer, collector and connoisseur of Russian folklore - all this is Mikhail Larionow. He wrote manifestos, poems, articles on the history of art and ballet, acted as an organizer of exhibitions and associations, tried himself in such important areas as fashion and advertising.


Mikhail Larionow was born on May 22, 1881 in Bender, near Tiraspol, in the family of a military pharmacist Fyodor Larionow and the daughter of the local landowner Alexandra Petrovskaya.


From 1902 to 1910 Larionov was engaged in the painting department of Korovin, Pasternak, Serov. Here he finds friends and like-minded people, meets his future wife - artist Natalia Goncharova.


S.Dyagilev invites Larionow to Paris to participate in the exhibition “Two Centuries of Russian Painting and Sculpture” organized by him. Fascinated by contemporary French art, the artist visits museums and art galleries there. Before returning to his homeland, he goes to London, and becomes acquainted with the work of William Turner.


But the outbreak of war forces artists to return to Russia. Larionow is called up for military service. After contusion, demobilized.


In 1915, after treatment at the hospital, together with Goncharova they left Russia forever in order to join the Russian Ballets entreprise at the invitation of Dyagilev. The Parisian period of the artist’s life and work begins.


French innovators have become a springboard for Mikhail Larionow. He creates a radically new direction - raniance. The new direction was not immediately accepted by any critics. Larionow and his faithful companion Natalya Goncharova recognized the scandal as the most effective advertising campaign. In the "Manifesto to the Woman", the master calls upon the ladies to bare the breast, which should be painted or tattooed. In the "Manifesto for men" asymmetry is recognized as a sign of male fashion. Vulgarity and retrograde - wear a mustache: only one mustache is needed! And you should definitely shave off half the beard and male legs should be bare, tattooed and in sandals.


Another woman of Larionow, Alexandra Tomilina, was for 30 years the mistress of Larionow, actually a common-law wife. Her apartment was located in the same building, one floor below, her existence was not a secret for Natalia Goncharova. They went to rest either four of them with "family friends", or Larionow and Goncharova together.


In 1962, Natalia Goncharova died, and Larionow married the faithful Tomilina. In 1964, Mikhail Larionow died, but only in 1978, Alexandra Tomilina issued a testament to the Soviet government. But the transfer of a huge archive of Larionow and Goncharova took place only in 1989.