Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev was born in Astrakhan on March 7, 1878 into the family of a professor of philosophy, history of literature, and logic at the local theological seminary.
Between 1893 and 1896, Boris took private art lessons in Astrakhan. Subsequently, from 1896 to 1903, he attended Ilya Repin’s studio at the Academy of Arts in St. Peterburg. Concurrently he took classes in sculpture under Dmitry Stelletsky and in etching under Vasily Mathé.
In 1904, he traveled to Spain, in 1907 to Italy, and in 1909 visited Austria, France, and Germany, and again Italy. During these years he painted many portraits and genre pieces.
In 1909, Kustodiev developed the initial symptoms of the grave illness that in 1916 paralyzed the lower part of his body, thus confining him to his studio where he continued to paint, relying on memories from his boyhood and youth and on his imagination.
In 1923, Kustodiev joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. He continued to paint, make engravings, illustrate books and design for the theater up until his death on May 28, 1927, in Leningrad. More on Boris Kustodiev
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