Artistic talent Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev A world-famous representative of Russian painting of the last century, gave us a nostalgic world, sunny and joyful, emphasizing the feeling of a holiday with bright colors. As a student of Ilya Repin, Kustodiev not only inherited Repin's manner and style, but also brought in his inherent play of colors, which inevitably charges with positive and happiness. It is worth noting that the formation of Boris Mikhailovich as an artist began long before meeting the teacher, as evidenced by his work, permeated with an echo of children's attachments and experiences.
Kustodiev was born in the family of a seminary teacher in 1878 in Astrakhan. Fate decreed that Boris’s father died when the boy was a little over a year old, and all the responsibility for the upbringing fell on the mother’s fragile shoulders - a 25-year-old widow with four children in her arms. Despite a very modest income, the family lived together, and maternal love brightened up the difficulties of life, giving the opportunity to form a creative person. It was her mother, Ekaterina Prokhorovna, who instilled in her children a love of high art - theater, literature, and painting. Such education clearly defined the future of Boris, and already at the age of 9 he knew that he would become an artist.
In 1892, entering the Astrakhan Theological Seminary, Kustodiev simultaneously began to take lessons from the local painter A.P. Vlasov. With the blessing of Vlasov, in 1896 Kustodiev became a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and after two years was accepted into the workshop of Ilya Repin. The great artist immediately drew attention to the student, pinning great hopes on him, which subsequently resulted in a joint work on the monumental canvas - "The ceremonial meeting of the State Council on May 7, 1901." The consequence of such a successful start was the defense of a thesis with a gold medal and internship abroad. On his trip to Europe, the artist went with a young family, a recently born son and young wife - Julia Evstafyevna Proshinskaya.
Subsequently, in 1905, paying tribute to the fateful meeting with his love, Kustodiev built the Terem workshop near the city of Kineshma, on the Volga. “Terem” became the artist’s place of work and creativity, and here, almost every summer, Boris Mikhailovich was embraced by a feeling that is commonly called happiness, inspiring him to be creative and aware of the fullness of life. Beloved wife, who became a faithful helper, son and daughter, in an indestructible concept, the family was reflected in the artist's work and became a separate big topic in his painting (the painting "Morning").
A year earlier, in 1904, the artist spent several months abroad, in Paris and Madrid, visiting exhibitions and museums. Native open spaces called Boris Mikhailovich to Russia and, returning to his homeland, Kustodiev plunged into the world of journalism, collaborating with the satirical magazines "Zhupel" and "Infernal Post". So, the first Russian revolution encouraged him to try his hand at cartoons and caricatures of government ranks.
1907 became eventful: a trip to Italy, a fascination with sculpture, membership in the Union of Artists. And in 1908, the world of the theater was opened for Kustodiev - he works as a decorator in the Mariinsky. The popularity of Boris Mikhailovich is growing, the fame of the portrait painter becomes the cause of the famous work of Nicholas II in 1915, but long before that, in 1909, trouble came to the artist's family - the first signs of a spinal cord tumor appear. Despite this, he continues to actively travel around Europe, receives the title of academician of painting in the same year. Having visited Austria, Italy, France and Germany, Kustodiev goes to Switzerland, where he undergoes treatment. Subsequently, in Berlin in 1913 he undergoes a complex operation.
It would seem that the disease has receded and 1914 was marked by exhibitions in the Bernheim Gallery in Paris, by international art exhibitions in Venice and Rome. In 1916, Kustodieva was given a second operation in St. Petersburg, which resulted in paralysis of the lower body and amputation of her legs. Since then, the whole world of the artist is his room, memory and imagination. It was during this period that he painted his most vivid and festive paintings, depicting the provincial life (“Tradeswoman at tea”, “Village holiday”) and the beauty of the body (“Beauty”).
But cheerfulness and optimism can not overcome the disease, which is progressing, gives the artist the only one time to hold a lifetime exhibition of his own works in 1920 at the Petrograd House of Arts. The last milestones of life were marked by the design of the performance “Flea” and participation in the International Exhibition in Paris.
In May 1927, at the age of 49, Boris Mikhailovich died literally at work on a sketch of the triptych he had conceived, “The Joy of Work and Rest”. Thus ended the difficult, but full of light and joyful notes, life of the famous artist, who left us a legacy of great paintings that demonstrate a thirst for life and knowledge.