Pavel Varfolomevich Kuznetsov was born on November 5, 1878 in Saratov, on the bank of the Volga, in the family of an icon painter. He studied painting first in Saratov and then in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where his teachers were Konstantin Korovin and Valentin Serov.
Pavel Kuznetsov was the ideologist and one of the organizers of “Blue Rose” artistic group, the only exhibition of which has been opened on March 18, 1907 in Moscow. The exhibition fully reflected the influence of symbolism. After the closing of the exhibition each of its 16 talented participants has gone in his own individual creative way.
Together with the “Blue Rose” left behind, Pavel Kuznetsov’s period of symbolism was ended, and he was at a crossroads.
Where to go further? A restless period of creative pursuit has begun.
And so fate gave him a wonderful gift - meeting with Central Asia. He went to the Kyrgyz steppes, visited Central Asian cities, and all the extraordinary beauty of the East was opened up for him. And Central Asia’s picturesque recognition by Kuznetsov the artist has begun, and one after another the painting and graphic cycles arise, inspired by the encounters with the Kyrgyz steppes, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent.
Kuznetsov’s paintings from 1910s presented in the museum are dedicated to the most common events taking place in the steppes: feeding of sheep or sheep shearing, after work rest in the steppes with yurts and camels nearby. But this daily routine is exalted and spiritualized on Kuznetsov’s paintings. On the “Rest in the Steppe” painting two women sit on a yurt’s background, lowering their eyes and slightly bowing their heads as two wise oriental goddesses.
On the “Bird bazaar” painting in the first plan there is a large figure of a sitting Uzbek, a woman in typical oriental clothes and three peacocks. And the whole of the second plan is filled with geometrized, decomposed forms of multiple structures in a range of light yellow, pink, green colors.
On this background the saturated blue color of the bird seller’s robe stands out, which accentuates the dark color of his face.
It should be noted that Pavel Kuznetsov was also a great master of still life, which makes up a special and significant part of his art.
P. V. Kuznetsov at the Museum of Russian Art (Prof. A. Abramyan’s collection):
“Steppe. Camels”, 1907
“Return to Steppe”, 1910
“Spring in Steppe”, 1912
“Rest in Steppe”, 1916
“Kishlak from series “Tourkestan” (Boukhara)”, 1923
“Houses in the Mountains.” , The 1920-s
“Bird market.”, The 1920-s
“Moscow Landscape” , The mid. 1920-s
“Parisian Comedians Sketch for the picture “Parisian Comedians””, 1925 (STG)
“Flowers and Fruit”, 1933