Vsevolod
Nikolaevich Maksimovich

Russia • 1894−1914

Biography and information

Vsevolod Nikolaevich Maksimovich (1894, Poltava - May 3, 1914, Moscow) - Ukrainian artist, avant-garde artist, representative of the modern style.

Features of the artist Vsevolod Maksimovich’s work: Vsevolod Maksimovich’s life and career were very bright, but alas! - short-lived. Perhaps that is why his work for many years remained unknown to the general public. In his works, Vsevolod Maksimovich used a wide variety of artistic techniques, and the theme of the works gravitated to the period of antiquity and praised the cult of fertility and aesthetics of the naked body. Garlands of plant patterns and a filigree style of writing resembling work Aubrey Beardsley, in Maximovich’s paintings are intertwined with the traditions of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Famous paintings by the artist Vsevolod Maksimovich: "Feast", "Kiss", "Carnival", «Self-portrait».

Read also:"Ukrainian Art Nouveau: the style of free artists"

Creativity of a bright and distinctive Ukrainian modernist was opened to viewers only in 2007 at the exhibition “Crossroads. Modernism in Ukraine, 1910 - 1930 ”, which took place in New York. Journalists and art historians recognized Maximovich’s work as “brilliant” and “amazing”, comparing it with Beardsley andKlimt and speaking of him as one of the leading masters of the secession.

Vsevolod Maksimovich was born and raised in Poltava, early showing talent for painting. One of his friends was an artist. Ivan Myasoedov, the organizer of the association "Garden of the Gods", whose members were passionate about the cult of antiquity. Maksimovich became a frequent guest in the family estate of Myasoedov - Pavlenki, and also took painting lessons from Ivan. Here, in Pavlenki, he met and made friends withFedor Krichevsky - the love of life and earthly beauty is clearly visible in the works of both masters.

Later there was Moscow, where the professor became the mentor of the young man Ivan Rerberg, architect and convinced symbolist. Maksimovich quickly became his man in the circle of futurists, shocking friends and acquaintances not only with an extraordinary, somewhat frightening appearance, but also with very extravagant behavior. The most significant of his works, undoubtedly related to the Art Nouveau style, the artist created in the period from 1912 to 1914.

Maximovich boldly worked with canvases of large formats, created a number of remarkable large mural. In these three years, one of his most striking paintings emerged from under his brush - “Kiss (Lovers)” - a direct allusion “Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. Also in 1914, he played a role in the avant-garde film "Drama in the Cabaret of the Futurists" - in addition to Maksimovich, they participated in it Vladimir Mayakovskybrothers Burliuki,Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova.

Addiction to alcohol and drugs led the artist to a quick demise - In 1914, at the age of 20, he laid hands on himself. There were several versions of suicide - from a failed exhibition in Moscow to an unhappy love for actress and ballerina Nadia Elsner, who preferred Velimir Khlebnikov to him.

In 1925, about ten works by Maksimovich were acquired by art critic Fedor Ernst, who fully appreciated the talent of the artist and sought to preserve his works for posterity. The paintings were transferred by Ernst to the National Art Museum of Ukraine (the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum in those years), but they did not hang long in the halls - “non-Soviet decadence” was soon put away to the funds and even rushed to put on fire. Fortunately, due to the large size of the picture, they remained in the storerooms, and today several works by Vsevolod Maksimovich can be seen in the exposition of the National Art Museum.