Russia • 1880−1960

Alexander Kuprin studied at the Voronezh evening drawing classes at the Society of Painting Lovers (1899—1901) under L. G. Soloviev and M. I. Ponomarev, then in St. Petersburg (1902—1904) in the studio under L. E. Dmitriev-Kavkazsky, and in Moscow (1904—1906) at the school of painting and drawing of K. F. Yuon and I. O. Dudin, then at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1906—1910) under N. A. Kasatkin, S. D. Miloradovich, A. E. Arkhipov and K. A. Korovin. He taught at the Moscow Higher Artistic and Technical Institute (1922—1930), the Moscow Textile Institute (1931—1939), the Moscow Higher School of Industrial Art (1946—1952). Being one of the organizers of the Jack of Diamonds group, he participated in the exhibitions of Jack of Diamonds, Mir Iskusstva, Moscow Painters, Bytiye (Being), the Society of Moscow Artists. The painter was the Honoured Artist of the RSFSR, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR.

In an imaginary group portrait of the members of the Jack of Diamonds group (1910), the place of A. V. Kuprin is in the second row, next to V. V. Rozhdestvensky and R. R. Falk. In the first row there stand “bogatyrs”, such as I. I. Mashkov, P. P. Konchalovsky, A. V. Lentulov, whereas Kuprin’s painting was in no way loud or not even inspired by the fresh material of folk primitiveness. He was a pure Cézannist, the most nervous and dramatic among his friends; but his still lifes retained the power of colour and plasticity even when the former “jacks” muffled their natural temperament and renamed themselves into Moscow Painters (1925) and the Society of Moscow Artists (1928). Kuprin studied under L. E. Dmitriev-Kavkazsky in St. Petersburg (1902—1904), at the studio of K. F. Yuon in Moscow (1904—1906) and at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1906—1910). Having become a member of the Jack of Diamonds, he shared their common passion for Cézanne, but in his interpretation, Cézanne’s compositions acquired an increased foreshortening, forms became prickly, colour gained contrast and intensity (Still Life with a Blue Tray, 1914; Still Life with a Figurine, 1919; Autumn Bouquet, 1925, etc.). Less direct than most of his companions, he used culturally significant objects in his production — sculpture, pipes, a horse’s skull; he generally preferred an artificial, invariable nature, and many fresh flowers only appeared in his still lifes by the 1930s. Nevertheless, the nature, alive and variable, tangible and full of movement, appeared in his Crimean landscapes, that the artist created in the 1930—1950s. (Poplars, 1927; Beasal Valley, 1937; Landscape with the Moon, 1944, etc.). Their similar tonal colouring still retains decorative saturation. And even in his series of the industrial views of metallurgical plants and oil fields, the artist did not lose the culture of integral vision. In addition to his creative work, Kuprin devoted a lot of time and energy to teaching: since 1920 — at Vkhutemas-Vhutein, at the Moscow Textile Institute and other universities (until 1952). Since 1954 he was Corresponding Member of the Academy of Arts.

Go to biography


View all publications


All exhibitions of the artist
View all artist's artworks
Whole feed