An exhibit in Palazzo Strozzi to celebrate her extraordinary talent
Natalia Goncharova was a world famous artist whose talent has reflected in the artistic movements of Cubo-Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, and Post-Impressionism. Besides painting, she also expressed her artistic potential in theatre scenography, in the illustration of books, and in the collaboration with fashion magazines.
Goncharova was born on June 21, 1881 in the Governorate of Tula (Russian Empire). Her father, the architect Sergej Goncharov, came from the noble family of Natalia Goncharova-Pushkina, the wife of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. At the age of twenty years old, Natalia began her studies at the Art Institute of Moscow, where she met Mikhail Larionov, who would become her loyal companion for sixty years. Larionov saw in her a talented painter, albeit Goncharova began by studying sculpture. They were part of several artistic groups, among which the famous “Zolotoe runo” (“Golden Fleece”), subsequently joined by another important representative of Russian vanguards, Kazimir Malevich.
From 1910 to 1916, Goncharova and Larionov were also members of the association of Muscovite artists known as the “Bubnovij Valet” (“Jack of Diamonds”). Between 1907 and 1913, in Moscow, they organized numerous exhibits for the association, involving even French painters. In 1915, Goncharova and Larionov moved to Paris following the invitation by Sergei Diaghilev to create the scenes and the costumes for the shows of the “Saison Russe.” In 1916, they obtained much success in Spain. At the same time, she became passionate of the work by Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin, and even to that of the Fauvists. By studying their manner of painting, she elaborated her style. It was through the collaboration with theatre entrepreneur Diaghilev that she achieved her international fame, and her works “enchanted” Europe, the United States and Japan. She collaborated with famous fashion brands such as Chanel, and even realized sketches of dresses for magazines like “Vogue” and “Vanity Fair.”
Natalia Goncharova died in Paris on October 17, 1962, and two years Mikhail Larionov passed away. According to their will, “all of the archives and paintings must be donated to Russia.” Transporting the precious collection from Paris to Moscow was expensive and complicated, and only in 1987-1988 were all of Goncharova and Larionov’s treasures finally handed over to the Tret’jakov Gallery in Moscow. Florence celebrates this extraordinary Russian artist with an exhibit in Palazzo Strozzi entitled “Natalia Goncharova: between Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso,” which will be on show from September 28, 2019 to January 12, 2020.
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