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Serov - Girl with Peaches inspired by Repin's canvasses...

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Serov's fame depends not only on the sheer number of remarkable and memorable works he left, but on his willingness to develop as an artist, to explore new styles and techniques, and to search for new ways of expression without giving up on his convictions or subscribing slavishly to this or that art theory. Chistiakov, who helped many great Russian painters find their own style and who rarely lavished praise on his students, commented that he never had another pupil who would possess not only such an evenly and highly developed feeling for drawing, color, light, shadow, and composition, but also such a clear sense of artist's and art's purpose. Perhaps this sense of purpose and the innate talent of Serov, combined with his open-mindedness and eagerness to experiment, made the artist one of the major figures in Russian painting of the 1880s-1910s. The three paintings reproduced here can only give an incomplete idea of Serov's development as a painter.
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Unformatted text preview: Girl with Peaches , inspired by Repin's canvasses, shows Serov's ability to use the lessons learned from the works of the Wanderers in an new way, allowing him to create an intimate and cheerful portrait devoid of social commentary. The portrait of Ivan Morozov, in its vivid colors and the emphasis placed on freer modeling of the human figure brings to mind postimpressionist works of Matisse as well as many paintings of Russian artists of the same period, for instance Malevich's Self Portrait . Finally, Elizabeth Departing on a Hunt shows Serov's absorption of the artistic idiom of the World of Art painters, particularly of Alexander Benois . Even more remarkable example of Serov's boldness and striving for new artisitic expression is the famous portrait of Ida Rubinstein (not reproduced here), with its emphasis on line, flatness of the composition, and an overal style commonly associated with the Art Nouveau...
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