Konchalovsky, Pyotr (1876-1956) - 1937-38 Portrait of the Stage Director Vsevolod Meyerkhold (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia) by Milton Sonn

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Pyotr Konchalovsky was a Russian painter, a member of Jack of Diamonds group. He was born in the village of Slavianka, Kharkov gubernia (currently Ukraine) on 21 February 1876. His father was an art publisher. In 1889, the Konchalovskys moved to Moscow and their house became a part of the Moscow art scene of 1890s. Their house was often visited by Valentin Serov, Mikhail Vrubel, Vasily Surikov. Later, Pyotr married a daughter of Vasily Surikov, who always praised the art of his son-in-law. During his gymnasium years Konchalovsky attended classes of Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1896-1898 he traveled to Paris and studied at the Académie Julian. In 1899, he returned to Russia and entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, graduating in 1907. At the Academy, he studied under Savinsky, Zaleman and Kovalevsky.

Since 1909, he exhibited frequently, participating in the Golden Fleece, Fraternity, Mir Iskusstva, and New Society of Artists. He was a founding member of the society Jack of Diamonds in 1909. Beginning in 1918 he taught art. In 1922, he had his first solo exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery. During that period, he mostly drew still lifes and landscapes. His paintings—as of all other Jacks of Diamond—were strongly influenced by Paul Cézanne. Later he started to paint portraits (often Ceremonial Portraits) that were considered as the examples of Socialist Realism style. Pyotr Konchalovsky was a very prolific painter, and is known to have created more than five thousand works.

Many of his descendants were people in the world of art. His son Mikhail Petrovich Konchalovsky (b. 1906) was a notable painter. His daughter Natalia Konchalovsky (1903–1988) was a notable children’s writer and her husband Sergei Mikhalkov was a notable poet, the author of children’s poetry and two versions of the National Anthem of the Soviet Union and the present National Anthem of Russia. They have two sons: Andrei Konchalovsky is a film writer, director and a painter, whose son Egor is also a notable film director. Nikita Mikhalkov is also a movie director who won the 1994 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Burnt by the Sun.

“I realize that I am as good and no better than my last story and director. I know how perfectly horrible I was at first. No one knows it better than I. If I had any latent talent, I have had to work hard, listen carefully, do things over and over and then over again in order to bring it out. I know how much I have had to learn and also I know how much I have yet to learn. I was not a ‘born’ actress. I can only hope that I may deserve to be called one when I die.”Jean Harlow

Six months later, she was dead.

Source: Caroline S. Hoyt (1937)
Photo: George Hurrell (1936)

David “Chim” Seymour     Pablo Picasso Standing in Front of His Just Completed “Guernica,” Painted to Memorialize and Protest the Bombing Destruction of the Basque Town of Guernica by Italian Fascists Allied with Francisco Franco During the Spanish Civil War, Paris     1937

During the Nazi occupation of France, Picasso is said to have been questioned by a gestapo officer, who asked him of the painting “Guernica:” “Did you do this.”  His response was “No, you did.”


Henri Le Sidaner - The Table Before the Window, Snow (La table devant la fenêtre, neige) [1937] by Gandalf’s Gallery

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Epitomising Le Sidaner's skilful play with light and colour, La Table devant la fenêtre, neige is an intimate portrayal of a simple table-setting before a window, through which we observe the quiet wintry neighbourhood of Versailles as dusk settles. A small vase of flowers, a teapot and an abandoned napkin expertly rendered with delicate daubs of pastel tones reflect the shimmer of the snow-laden street outside while the illumination of the lamps in the neighbours’ windows awakens the scene to create an effect of striking luminosity; one can feel the delicate warmth emanating from the interiors.

[Sotheby’s, New York - Oil on canvas, 92.7 x 73.6 cm] Henri Eugène Augustin Le Sidaner (7 August 1862 – July 1939) was an intimist painter.