1861, Moscow - 1939, Paris

Portrait of Fyodor Chaliapin


Konstantin Korovin met Fyodor Chaliapin at the Pan-Russian Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896. This famous portrait was painted in Vichy, where the artist and the singer were both taking the waters. In France, the two men planned a joint production of Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanshchina, eventually mounted at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1911. Well aware of his friend’s merits and shortcomings, Korovin captures the most important aspects of his character — nobility, talent, openness and broadness of spirit — with the help of the singer’s physical attributes (large and sturdy figure, proud profile, smiling face) and his exultant and temperamental brush. This handsome and spirited man is a natural part of the surrounding environment.
Fyodor Chaliapin (1873–1938): Famous Russian opera singer.

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