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Zinaida Evgenievna Serebriakova (28 November (10 December), 1884, pp. Boring (at different times belonged to Kursk and Kharkov provinces), Russian Empire — September 19, 1967, Paris, France) — Russian artist, member of society "World of art", after the revolution emigrated to Paris. The representative of Neoclassicism.

The features of creativity of the artist Zinaida Serebryakova: the simplicity and elegance of lines, restraint, flexibility, clarity. Zinaida Serebryakova wrote at the time when many avant-garde movements, but none of them caught that. Her work stands alone. Stand out in the legacy Serebryakova numerous self-portraitsportraits of children, Nudes, and scenes of folk life, which in her performance become mythological, come with household-level existentially.

Famous paintings of Zinaida Serebryakova: "Behind the toilet. Self-portrait","Bather",
"Breakfast","House of cards","Whitening canvas".

Two fates were destined to live Zinaida Serebryakova. In the first she is a descendant of an artistic family, happy, loving and beloved wife, mother adored children and a talented artist, known in the Russian painting with his self-portrait in front of a mirror, in which, it seems, concentrated happiness, love, contentment, freshness and joy of life. The second fate, a widow, separated from their children, struggling to earn daily bread, have not found a place in a foreign country and have lost their homeland, torn with anxiety and consumed by hopeless longing.

Happy life Zinaida Serebryakova

Draw Zinaida Lanceray was intended — a fate not destiny, and family — for sure. Zina’s father, Yevgeny Lansere, was a well-known St. Petersburg sculptor, mother nee Catherine Benoit, sister Alexander Benois. Zina’s youngest child, she was two years old when his father died from tuberculosis. From the estate of Neskuchnoye (then — Kursk Guberniya of the Russian Empire, now — Kharkiv region of Ukraine) mother with children moved to St. Petersburg in the parental home.

On the background of sociable cheerful brothers and sisters Zina seemed weird, withdrawn. I think she only went to temper in the father, and not in a fun friendly maternal relatives. She went to school, went with his mother to art exhibitions and theatre premieres, drawing, of course, in this family could not be otherwise. The only thing that disturbed mother — poor health girls. Of all the children she grew most painful.

In eighteen years, Sinusa, as it was called native, moved with her mother to Italy to restore health. Soon they were joined by Alexander Benois, for Zina — "uncle Alex". And he gave the ladies great artistic and cultural excursions! On the way back, especially for museums went through a vein. In St. Petersburg Zinaida, following the advice of "uncle Shura", visited the Studio of Osip Braz, a famous portrait painter, academician of the Imperial Academy of arts. To the main portrait, so dear to the Braz, the soul she was not lying, so there is nothing good about this stage of her education Serebriakova not afterward have spoken. But the time spent in the Hermitage, which was visited almost daily, was considered very important.

In addition to the joy of painting, the girl’s life is illuminated, another great joy is love. Summers the family spent in boring, where in the neighbouring estate had been inhabited by their relatives Serebryakovs. With Boris, his cousin, Zina had known each other since childhood, their friendship grew into love. Young decided to get married, but they managed it immediately. Parents were all for it, but the Church opposed because of their relationship lovers. However, 300 rubles and an appeal to the third, after two failures, the priest has allowed to solve the problem. In 1905 they were married. Very beautiful couple! Tall, handsome, playful, loving, a little idealistic. It seems they had a very happy life. And they had it, but not as long as they dreamed of.

Shortly after the wedding, the young went to Paris. Zinaida was expecting the birth of first child increased painting at the Academy de La Grande Chaumiere (again on the advice of Benoit). She enthusiastically admired the paintings of Monet and Manet, Sisley, was delighted with Degasand brought a love to last through all his life, joining him in a dialogue with a series of ballerinas (1, 2, 3, 4).

Since her marriage till the revolution of Zinaida Serebryakova was as happy as ever. Their life was simple, happy and calm. In winter, lived in Petersburg, and in warm weather in neskuchne. In worldly amusements not particularly involved, the interests of Zinaida revolved around her children, beloved husband and painting. Even walking with the kids, she always kept the album.

In 1910 at the exhibition of the Union of Russian artists in St. Petersburg Zinaida Serebryakova was struck not only the audience, but also the family, including "uncle Shura". It self-portrait "of a toilet"made a splash. Such freshness, such sincerity and joy of youth came from the picture that no one doubts that in Russia there is a new artist. Her style is defined as neo-classicism.

By 1913 Life have already had four children: older boys, Eugene and Sasha and the girls nanny and Katya. Zinaida was very fond of the estate, which included even children chose to give birth there, despite the anxiety of the mother. Bored, she led a simple life, wore wide skirts and bright blouses and painted in every free minute — children, husband, peasants, landscapes.

Zinaida and Boris get along with the peasants. If he found that someone stole from the master’s yard wheel or a tub for salting, then gently Zhurilo the culprit: "Yes, well, not asked, I would have and so on". And when occurred the fatal volley "Aurora", Zinaida, smiling, truly happy for the peasants on the estate: "Well, Nikitishna, congratulations, now you’re not just a farmer, you are now a civilian!".

And a sound volley

After the revolution in Russia with the changes in my life encountered, perhaps, everything. But in the case of Serebryakova is not a "change", this is before and after, two different lives. Happiness stayed in one that was prior to the volley. Boris was arrested, it was in boring burned. Fortunately, its farmers warned so Serebryakovs time went to Kharkov. Released Boris died at the hands of his wife from typhus, leaving her in a newly built "country folk" with four children.

In Kharkov Zinaida settled in the archaeological Institute, made sketches of archaeological finds and languishing with desire to get out of this confusion, which has turned her recently happy life. "Pathetic, helpless, and lonely. Says that life is over, and lives only by its past" - to describe the contemporary experience of meeting with her. However, opportunities to fully dive into the longing she has no need to feed the children and mother. A great help was the help of the peasants, sometimes they brought bacon, cereals, carrots — the last of the brewed tea and warmed them.

Only in December, 1920, cannot leave to Petrograd. Becomes a little easier. The children go to school, paintings by Serebryakova participate in exhibitions, she is sometimes commissioned to do portraits. But my life is on the brink of survival. Surprisingly, as hard as it was her life, her painting mostly bright, cheerful, early though it is created from excess of joy, and in later escaped from the hard reality.

Alexander Benois was the niece procured free passage to the Mariinsky theatre. It deals with her daughter Tatiana, there Zinaida says your lovely ballerinas. In 1923 her work participate in the ongoing U.S. exhibition of Russian artists. She has saved $ 500, but they couldn’t patch holes in the family budget. Zinaida decided to go to Paris to improve financial position.

The cage match

Tatiana Serebryakova recalled that she was 12 years old when he left mom. Been gone for a while, but Tata was very scary. If she had a premonition that the next time they will be able to see after 36 years.

Contrary to the assurances Benoit, Golden shower on Serebryakov in Paris was shed. First, the fashion was avant-garde whose values she did not share, following the classical approach to painting, and secondly, very awkward Serebriakova was doing business and did not know how to "spin" echoes the life of a happy woman, living a family and their art. It does not look like this was a Paris populated by immigrants, the city in which she went after her marriage to her husband and mother, pregnant eldest son!

Artist Konstantin Somovrepeatedly helped in Paris to Zinaida Serebryakova, said: "She is miserable, unhappy, inept, all her hurt". A loner in life, in the work she left no direct successors. Contemporaries mention the heavy nature of the artist. But we must remember the circumstances of her life. Earn money for the year, as planned, it failed. "No one understands that starting without a penny insanely difficult. As time goes on, and I are all in the same place"in desperation she wrote to her mother. She really misses her children. Soon able to write to his Katya, in 1927 arrives and Sasha. And then falls the iron curtain.

Serebryakov does not dare to come back, because in Paris the two children and take them to the USSR, where they can be declared "enemies of the people", it is not at risk. In Paris, she can not fully engage in a new life, because half of her heart was left there with Eugene, Tanya and mother, which the government refuses to release abroad.

Whenever possible, Serebryakova sends them money, but it is not always possible. In 1933, her mother in the Union died from hunger.

The brightest event of this "life after life" for Zinaida Serebryakova became, perhaps, a trip to Morocco. The Belgian Baron Brower saw on one of the exhibitions of her paintings and offered to pay for trips that can take any of the writing there are pictures. In 1928 and 1932, the year Zinaida traveled to Morocco. Later she would write to his daughter Tatiana: "All 34 years of my life here — one fuss, one nervousness and despair… And how does the artist do without the "excitement"? Except that one month spent in Morocco in 1928, and then a month and a half there has captured me fully with their immediate living beauty…"

Only during the Khrushchev thaw, in 1960, Tatiana, and a few years later and son Eugene were able to come to mother. And six years later to organize her exhibition in Moscow. Success was deafening! But she Serebryakova did not dare to come to the Soviet Union. And the age made itself felt, and to go back to where I was very happy knowing that those places over there, not everyone is able.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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Artworks by the artist
553 artworks total
Zinaida Serebryakova. For Breakfast
For Breakfast
1914, 88.5×107 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. At the Dressing-Table. Self-Portrait
At the Dressing-Table. Self-Portrait
1909, 75×65 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. Bather
1911, 98×89 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. Ballet restroom. Snowflakes (Ballet The Nutcracker)
Ballet restroom. Snowflakes (Ballet The Nutcracker)
1923, 105×85 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. The bleaching of the canvas
The bleaching of the canvas
1917, 141.8×173.6 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. House of cards
House of cards
1919, 65×75.5 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. The Portrait Of S. R. Ernst
The Portrait Of S. R. Ernst
1921, 81×72 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. Autumn Park
Autumn Park
1910-th , 46.3×60.2 cm
Zinaida Serebryakova. Nude
1930, 48×63 cm
View 554 artworks by the artist