1889, Ivanovskoe (Moscow Province) - 1924, Moscow

Portrait of a Philosopher. Cubist Construction


  • oil on canvas. 89 x 63
  • Жб-1456

  • Пост. в 1926 через ГИНХУК, Ленинград

Prototype: Pavel Sergeyevich Popov (1892–1964): Brother of the artist. Graduated from the Faculty of Law, Moscow University. Interested in philosophy, psychology and ancient literature. Taught at Vsyevolod Meyerhold’s Higher Theatrical Studios (1920s). Keeper of the artist’s creative heritage.
Portrait of a Philosopher is an excellent example of the Cubo-Futurist period of Lyubov Popova’s oeuvre. There are several known painterly and graphic versions of this portrait, which, as the artist herself confirmed, depicts her brother Pavel. The image of Pavel Popov, however, is merely the starting point for further painterly impulses. The title of the work underlines the sense of generalisation and estrangement from a real person. The portrait also reflects an invariable facet of Russian avant-garde art – irony. Popova’s composition is filled with irony, seen in the title of the work, top hat, white shirt-front, dandified moustache, sceptical grin, wineglass and the copy of the Philosophical Revue.

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