Petrovich Konchalovsky

Russia • 1876−1956

Biography and information

Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky (February 9 (21), 1876, Slavyansk, now Donetsk region of Ukraine - February 2, 1956, Moscow) - Russian artist, who was greatly influenced by the work of the French Impressionists and especially Paul Cezanne.

Features of the artist Peter Konchalovsky: in Konchalovsky's still lifes, the influence of Cubism and Fauvism is noticeable, in the landscapes the influence of Cezanne is most obvious, and in the portraits - the firm irony and insight of Konchalovsky himself; the artist attached equal importance to both color and form in his works.

Famous paintings by Peter Konchalovsky: "Lilacs in a basket", "Portrait of director Vsevolod Emilevich Meyerhold", "A. N. Tolstoy visiting the artist".

Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky in his life connected many seemingly incompatible characteristics. Does the artist rely on the bohemian "moral freedom"? And he lived all his life with a single woman, and he was by no means a “creative decoration of the house”, but a real dad for his children. Is it time to “drop the classics from the ship of modernity”? Dumped, not without that. And while writing family portraits, which became his key theme. Honest emigrated, the rest were adjusted or sold? But Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky remained. He refused to paint a portrait of Stalin and continued in Soviet Russia, including in the midst of repression, to paint lilacs, his own grandchildren, flowering trees and still lifes in paintings. At the same time - the winner of the Stalin Prize. Not a man, but an endless paradox.

Generous on talents

Generic interlacings in the family of Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky are so remarkable that I want to begin with them a story about the artist. Konchalovsky - the son of a hereditary nobleman, publisher and translator. He married the daughter of the famous painter Vasily Surikov. Even those who are far from painting have heard about their offspring. Pyotr Konchalovsky and his wife Olga had two children - the daughter Natasha and the son Misha. The son of a second marriage married the Spanish Esperanza, and her daughter, the poetess Natalya Konchalovskaya, first married the intelligence officer Alexei Bogdanov. From this marriage, a daughter, Catherine, was born. The second husband of Natalia Konchalovskaya was 10 years younger than her - a writer (then a beginner), playwright, poet Sergei Mikhalkov. They had two sons, both later becoming famous directors - the eldest Andrei Konchalovsky and the younger Nikita Mikhalkov. Sergei Mikhalkov also adopted Catherine, who later married Yulian Semenov, he is known throughout the post-Soviet space as the creator of Stirlitz.

Family and art? Combine!

Pyotr Konchalovsky was shown to drawing from an early age. The first art institution - the Kharkov drawing school (born an artist in Slavyansk - now it is part of the Donetsk region, and then - the Kharkov province). Then his father persuaded him to enter the natural faculty of Moscow University, which Konchalovsky soon abandoned and finally went into painting. Thanks to his father’s publishing work, he met Surikov, Repin, Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Korovin, Serov, Levitan. By recommendation Korovin In 1896, Petr Konchalovsky went to Paris, where he studied with representatives of the Toulouse school - Laurence and Benjamin Konstan - and wrote portraits.

Returning to Russia, Konchalovsky decided to try himself in the holy of holies of Russian painting - the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. It was enough for a short time: the glorified institution caused a feeling of deep disappointment, and subsequently Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky even burned all the paintings that he painted during that period. From the Academy, he went to the workshop of battle painting Pavel Kovalevsky.

In 1902, Konchalovsky marries the daughter of his teacher, Vasily Surikov. And becomes Dadochka, and Olga Surikova - Lyolechkoy. By the way, the best man at the wedding of the young was the legendary Vrubel. According to one researcher, at the first family council, the young decided that “the future family life should be fully subordinated to the requirements of art and that no everyday conventions should interfere with it”. It is not known what the author meant, but in the memoirs of relatives, and in the memoirs of contemporaries one can find out that Pyotr Konchalovsky was by no means a genius divorced from family matters. On the contrary, Lyolechka was very lucky with her husband, and the children - with her father. Natasha was born a year later, and after another couple of years, the son Misha appeared. Konchalovsky personally put the kids to bed, told fairy tales and sang lullabies, selflessly fiddled with them during illnesses, took them for walks and, of course, taught them to draw. What did the wife do? She performed her main task - she loved Dadochka, and also worked at home, took children to classes, taught music and languages, was the main model and main artistic authority for Pyotr Konchalovsky. Each sketch, each picture, before being considered ready, was presented to the court of his beloved wife. If she said: "Not that, Dadochka", - the picture had no second chance.

Looking for yourself

It is clear that after the giants of Russian realism - Repin, Serov - to say in this area at that time there was nothing. Looking for his own way, the artist Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky travels around Europe again, visits France, Italy, and goes with his father-in-law to Surikov. This tour was decisive. He discovers post-impressionist paintings. His tears to touch van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse. Their influence is evident in the paintings of Peter Konchalovsky of that period. “In fact, if I analyze my palms in 1908, written in Saint-Maxime, there probably will be found next to the indisputable Van Gogh elements, and the “pieces” of Cezanne, because this is how I saw these pieces on the nature and had to convey them ”- Recognizes the relationship with postimpressionist Konchalovsky.

Konchalovsky as an original artist was essentially born in Spain. "Bullfight" - this is not someone's, not under someone, this is the confident voice of a new talent who has found his way.

Returning to Russia, he closely converges with the avant-garde - Ilya Mashkov, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, David Burliuk. In 1910 he takes part in the exhibition of paintings of the avant-garde association "Jack of Diamonds".

War, Crimea, revolution

For the winter, Konchalovsky until 1914 left for Paris, where the artist became close to Le focone, Matisse, Picasso. In the summer they moved to the Mediterranean. In World War I Dadochku mobilized. He always carried with him letters from home, in which the children and his wife described their lives in great detail. And little Natasha wrote her first poems just for dad and sent him a letter.

After the war, the artist with his family went to the Crimea. Stage begins for him "Conquest of color and air".

The paintings of this period clearly show how Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky transforms and embodies his passion Matisse: "Matisse, for me, does not touch, but tears to pieces <...>, like a vulture pulls out the heart of Prometheus". Compare pictures: "Pink statuette and a jug on a red chest of drawers » Matisse and "Vessels on a red tablecloth" Konchalovsky

Cezanne: “In those years, I instinctively sensed that without any new methods there is no salvation, one cannot find the way to real art. That's why I grabbed Cézanne like a drowning man at a straw. ” ("Still Life with a Jug and Fruit" Cezanne and Tashkent still life Konchalovsky).

Van gogh: "At the first glance, Van Gogh captured the inner drama of his painting and touched him, right to tears. ”

Revolution Konchalovsky met in Moscow. Emigration was not discussed. The whole family lived in an unheated apartment, the evenings were spent huddling up at the cast-iron stove. Having warmed up with tea, Dadochka sat at the piano, and Lёlechka persistently taught French to the children. For several years Konchalovsky taught in the painting workshop of VHUTEMAS, but he quickly realized that even though teaching, even bureaucratic activities interfere too much with art.

To be a Soviet artist? And an honest person

Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky - a unique phenomenon in the Soviet painting of those bloody years. He managed to remain a "pure" painter, avoiding the images in the pictures of ecstasy of Soviet workers from the Soviet reality and bypassing the portraits of the leaders. Konchalovsky clearly preferred to write Pushkin and Lermontov , landscapes and their grandchildren. The merit of Lunacharsky is that Dadochka was allowed to do all this. He explained to the surprised and thirsty proletarian kumach critics that Konchalovsky "Glorifies the poetry of our everyday life".

It was not possible to refuse to write Stalin at that time. At least, so that at the same time to preserve life and freedom. Pyotr Konchalovsky did not refuse, but only asked: “When can I meet with Joseph Vissarionovich for the first session?”. He, naively, explained that this was out of the question, the leader would have to write from a photo. To which Konchalovsky sincerely spread his hands and lamented that he, alas, can only write from life, from the photo - not trained, what a pity.

The artist bought a house in the Bugrah (Kaluga region) in 1932. When they destroyed Belkino, he went and took the discarded door, “through which Pushkin entered,” and installed it in his workshop. Konchalovsky spent a lot of time here, a large family came here. From here there are numerous landscapes and still lifes. Here the artist died in 1956. According to the memoirs of relatives, finally he became very greedy about time - he constantly wrote, not missing a day, as if trying to catch as much as possible.

Author: Alain Esaulova