1818, Astrakhan - 1927, Leningrad

Portrait of Fyodor Chaliapin


The complex structure of this painting is typical of Boris Kustodiev’s oeuvre as a whole, combining elements of an easel portrait, decorative panel, genre scene and landscape. The famous Russian operatic bass Fyodor Chaliapin began his career as a fairground singer and always enjoyed performing for the common people. He is depicted in his native environment of a provincial town, with its sunshine and bracing frosts. Kustodiev depicts the motley and noisy atmosphere of the traditional Butterweek Fair, with its carousels, fairground booths, ice hills, sledge rides and gatherings around the samovar. Russian Museum: From Icons to the Modern Times. Palace Editions, St Petersburg,

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