von Werefkin

Russia • 1860−1938

Biography and information

Marianna Vladimirovna Verevkina (Mariamna von Verefkin, September 10, 1860, Tula - February 6, 1938, Ascona, Switzerland) - Russian expressionist artist.

Features of the artist Marianna Verevkina: one of my favorite students Ilya Repin, Marianna Verevkina began searching for new creative solutions, being an artist. In 1892, Marianne took part in the twentieth exhibition of the Society of Wanderers. Repin praised her achievements, calling Verevkin "Russian Rembrandt." However, Marianne wanted to achieve new horizons. She dedicated ten years to cultivating the talent of her civil husband, artist Alexey Yavlensky, and during this period it absorbed a huge layer of knowledge devoted to the theory of the most diverse trends in contemporary art. Having started painting again in 1906, Verevkina chose tempera for herself and rediscovered the purity of color, worked a lot with composition. A great influence on the creative way of the artist had her associates in the "Blue Rider", including Wassily Kandinsky.

Famous paintings by artist Marianna Verevkina: “Portrait of Vera Repina”, "Autumn. School", "In the cafe", «Self-portrait».

Marianna Verevkina was born in Tula, in a family of hereditary nobles. Father, Vladimir Verevkin, was a major statesman. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, the family moved from Tula to Vitebsk, where Verevkin was assigned to the position of military governor. The mother of the girl, Elizaveta Petrovna Daragan, the daughter of the governor of the Tula province, was fond of iconography and portrait painting. She became the first art teacher for her talented daughter. Two more children appeared in the family - sons Peter and Vsevolod.

In 1868, after the next appointment of his father, Verevkin moved to Vilna (now Vilnius), where Marianna studies at the Mariinsky Higher Women's College. 1879 - moving again, this time to Polish Lublin, and a year later - to Moscow. In 1883, Marianne begins to take private lessons from Illarion Pryanishnikov, is engaged in still life at Vasily Polenova at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

After the death of his mother, Marianna Verevkina and her family moved to St. Petersburg, where the general from the Infantry, Verevkin, received the post of commandant of the Peter and Paul Fortress. A young artist meets with Ilya Repin and becomes his student. The accident that occurred in 1888 during a hunt almost prevented Marianna from drawing: the girl shot herself with her right hand and studied the brush for several years, holding it between her middle and ring fingers.

In the studio of Marianna, which was located in the Peter and Paul Fortress, were going to noisy and cheerful companies of artists and artists. Been here Konstantin Somovand Nicholas Roerich, drove in Philip Malyavin and Osip Braz. In 1891, Marianna met Alexei von Jawlensky, a young artist, like her, a student of Repin, who became for her the meaning of life for thirty long years. For several years, Yavlensky became his family in the Verevkin family, accompanied Marianna on trips. He repeatedly confessed his love; Marianna assured him of her immense friendship.

In 1896, after the death of his father, Marianne received his pension and became a wealthy and independent woman. Together with Yavlensky, they left for Europe and settled in Munich. Here Yavlensky was engaged in the school of Anton Ashbe, along with Igor Grabar, Wassily Kandinsky and Dmitry Kardovsky. And Marianna unexpectedly left the painting, putting everything on the altar of the creative growth of her common-law husband (in case of marriage, she would have lost her pension). Marianna opened a salon in their apartment, called the “Pink”. Possessing an extraordinary analytical mind, Marianna Verevkina told her guests everything she had to learn about the latest trends and trends in art.

Marianna’s pupil and maidservant, Elena Neznakomova, whom she took with her to Munich, became a stumbling block in their relationship with Yavlensky. However, not for long - Marianna did not like closeness in relationships with men, and the birth of little Andrey, the son of Elena, did not bring any particular dissonance into the life of this somewhat strange, but friendly family. They went to give birth to Russia, and then they represented little Andrew as Yavlensky's nephew.

With the death of Anton Ashba, when his school was closed, and the cozy friendly world of communication and artistic interests collapsed, Marianne returned to the brush and canvas. Her choice fell on tempera paints, which the artist worked until the end of life. In 1907, Marianne wrote the painting “Autumn. School ": six colors, plus white and black. The next two years spent in the company of Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriel Munter, become very fruitful: in Murnau, a small Bavarian town near Munich, in the company of like-minded people, new paintings of the artist, bold in color and composition, are born. In the spring of 1909, friends organized the “New Association of Artists, Munich”. One of its members, Franz Mark, wrote: “Marianne von Verevkin is the soul of this whole enterprise ... As for art issues, it’s not the eyebrow that hits the eyebrow, but the eye!” Indeed, the creative level of Marianna has increased, which was noted by both friends and critics. After the NOHM split, in 1912, Yavlensky and Verevkina entered the new association - "Blue Rider"organized by Kandinsky and Mark.

With the beginning of the First World War, the whole family moved from warring Germany to Switzerland, to the town of Saint-Preux on the shores of Lake Geneva. The financial situation has worsened - pensions from Russia were received irregularly. The family moved to Zurich, and later to the south of Switzerland, in the resort village of Ascona. Yavlensky was not engaged in anything except painting. Marianna got a job in a pharmaceutical concern: pensions were finally abolished, and she had to live for something. After a successful exhibition, which the new secretary of Yavlensky, Emmy Steyer, arranged for him in Wiesbaden, the artist decided to stay there forever and summoned Helen and son Andrey. Marianne was shocked by the betrayal.

Left alone, the artist acquired new life meanings. She painted postcards and sold them to holiday-makers, and still wrote a lot of tempera. In her diary, Verevkina wrote: “Ascona taught me to respect all things human, to love the happiness of creation and the poverty of life, to carry it all in myself as a great spiritual wealth.” In 1922 she donated a lot of paintings to her local museum of modern art - hers and her friends. In 1924, Verevkina entered the local association of artists "Big Bear", which was successfully exhibited in Switzerland and Berlin.

At the end of his life’s journey, Verevkina found solace in friendly relations with a Berlin businessman Ernest Alfred Aye. Their meetings were rare, but it was Santo - as Marianna called her life partner - that brought her the meaning of life. Her paintings again began to play with bright colors. Marianne was also helped by her new friends, Diego and Carmen Hagman. Impressed by the artist's creativity, her talent and personality, Hagman bought her paintings and regularly visited Verevkin in Ascona.

Marianna Verevkina died on February 6, 1938. All Ascona went to see the artist on her last journey. In 2002, one of the streets of Munich was named after her. The artist's work is little known in her homeland; only in 2010, the State Tretyakov Gallery hosted the first personal exhibition of Marianna Verevkina.

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  • Styles of art
    Expressionism, Realism
  • Techniques
    Gouache, Oil, Pastel, Tempera, Pencil, Writing ink, Colored chalk
  • Art forms
  • Subjects
    Landscape, Portrait, Genre scene
  • Artistic associations
  • Learning
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