Zinaida Serebryakova: biography and photos

Zinaida Serebryakova is a Russian artist,famous for her self-portrait in the early 20th century, lived a long and eventful life, most of which took place in emigration in Paris. Now, in connection with the huge exhibition of her works in the Tretyakov Gallery, I want to recall and tell about her hard life, about the ups and downs, about the fate of her family.

Zinaida Serebryakova: biography, the first success in painting

She was born in 1884. in the famous art family Benoit Lanceray, which became famous for several generations of sculptors, artists, architects and composers. Her childhood passed in a beautiful creative atmosphere in the circle of a large family, surrounding her with tenderness and care.

The family lived in Petersburg, and for the summer it was alwaysmoved to the estate Neskuchnoe near Kharkov. Painting Zinaida Serebryakova studied privately at the beginning with Princess Tenishcheva in St. Petersburg, then at the portraitist O. Braz. Later, she continued her education in Italy and France.

Upon her return from Paris, the artist enterssociety "World of Art", uniting artists of those times, later called the era of the Silver Age. The first success came to her in 1910, after showing his self-portrait "Behind the toilet" (1909), immediately bought by P. Tretyakov for the gallery.

zinaida serebryakov

The picture shows a beautiful young woman,which is in front of the mirror, doing the morning toilet. Her eyes cheerfully look at the viewer, alongside on the table women's trifles are laid out: perfume bottles, a casket, beads, there is an unlit candle. In this work, the face and eyes of the artist are still full of joyful youth and the sun, express a bright emotional life-affirming mood.

Marriage and children

With her chosen one she spent all her childhood andyouth, constantly communicating in Neskuchny, and in St. Petersburg with the family of his relatives Serebryakov. Boris Serebryakov was her cousin, they loved each other and dreamed of getting married. However, this did not work for a long time because of church disagreement on closely related marriages. And only in 1905, after an agreement with the local priest (for 300 rubles), relatives could arrange a wedding for them.

silver zinaid

The interests of the newlyweds were absolutelythe opposite: Boris was preparing to become an engineer of the railways, loved the risk and even went to practice in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War, and Zinaida Serebryakova was fond of painting. However, they had very tender and strong love relations, bright plans for a future joint life.

Their joint life began with a trip to Paris a year, where the artist continued to study painting at the Academy de la Grande Shomiere, and Boris studied at the High School of Bridges and Roads.

Returning to Neskuchnoye, the artist is activelyworks on landscapes and portraits, and Boris continues his education at the Institute of Railways and is engaged in housekeeping. They had four children-weather: first two sons, then two daughters. During these years, many works are dedicated to her children, which reflect all the joys of motherhood and growing up of babies.

zinaida serebryakova biography

A famous painting "At breakfast" draws a familya feast in the house where love and happiness live, portrays the children at the table surrounding the home trivia. The artist also writes portraits, her and her husband, sketches of the economic life in Neskuchny, draws local peasant women in the works "Whitewash of the canvas", "Reaping", etc. Local residents loved the Serebryakov family very much, they were respected for their ability to manage the farm, and therefore they positively posed for the paintings artist.

zinaide silver exhibition

Revolution and hunger

Revolutionary events of 1917 came to Neskuchny, bringing fire and disaster. The Serebryakovs' estate was burned by the "fighters of the revolution", but the artist herself and her children managed to leave it with the help of local peasants, who warned her and even gave him several bags of wheat and carrots. Serebryakov moved to Kharkov to visit his grandmother. Boris in those months worked as a road specialist first in Siberia, then in Moscow.

zinaida evgenyevna serebryakova

Not getting any news from her husband, stronglyworried about him, Zinaida Serebryakova goes to look for him, leaving the children with her mother. However, after their reunion on the road, Boris contracted typhus and died in the arms of a loving wife. Zinaida remains alone with four children and an elderly mother in a hungry Kharkov. She earns money in the archaeological museum, making sketches of prehistoric skulls and buying food for the children.

Tragic "House of Cards"

Picture "House of Cards" Zinaida Serebryakovawas written several months after the death of Boris's husband, when the artist half-starved with children and her mother in Kharkov, and became the most tragic of her works. Serebryakova herself perceived the name of the painting as a metaphor for her own life.

It was painted with oil paints, whichwere the last in this period, tk. all the money was spent not to die of famine from the family. Life fell apart like a house of cards. And in front of the artist there were no prospects in the creative and personal life, the main thing at that time was - to save and feed the children.

zinaida serebryakova artist

Life in Petrograd

In Kharkov, there was no money, no work ordersfor painting, so the artist decides to move the whole family to Petrograd, closer to relatives and cultural life. She is invited to work in the Petrograd department of museums as professor at the Academy of Arts, and in December 1920 the whole family already lives in Petrograd. However, she refused to teach in order to work in her workshop.

Serebryakova painted portraits, views of Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina. However, her hopes for a better life were not justified: in the northern capital there was also a famine, even potato purification was necessary.

Rare customers helped Zinaida feed andTo raise children, Tanya's daughter began to study choreography at the Mariinsky Theater. In the house they were constantly visited by young ballerinas, who posed for the artist. Thus, a whole series of ballet paintings and compositions were created, in which young sylphs and ballerinas dressed to enter the stage in the play are shown.

zinaida serebryakova artist biography

In 1924 the revival of exhibition activity begins. Several paintings by Zinaida Serebryakova at the exhibition of Russian art in America were sold. Having received a fee, she decides to leave for a time in Paris, to earn money for the maintenance of her large family.

Paris. In the emigration

Leaving the children with his grandmother in Petrograd,Serebryakova arrives in Paris in September 1924. However, the creative life here was unsuccessful: at first there was no own workshop, there were not enough orders, money could be earned very little, and those that she sent to her family in Russia.

In the biography of the artist Zinaida Serebryakova lifein Paris was a turning point, after which she could never return to her homeland, and she would see her two children only 36 years later, almost before her death.

The brightest period of life in France is when her daughter Katia arrives here, and together they visit the small cities of France and Switzerland, making sketches, landscapes, portraits of local peasants (1926).

Travel to Morocco

In 1928 after writing a series of portraits for a Belgian entrepreneur, Zinaida and Ekaterina Serebryakov are sent for a trip to Morocco with the money they earned. Struck by the beauty of the East, Serebryakova does a series of sketches and works, drawing eastern streets and local residents.

Returning to Paris, she arranges an exhibition"Moroccan" works, collecting a huge number of enthusiastic reviews, but nothing could earn. All friends noted her impracticality and inability to sell their work.

Tretyakov Gallery Exhibition of Sinai Silver

In 1932 Zinaida Serebryakova reruns to Morocco, again doing sketches and landscapes there. In those years, Alexander was able to escape to her, who also became an artist. He is engaged in decorative activities, decorates interiors, and also makes to order lampshades.

Her two children, arriving in Paris, help her to earn money, actively engaged in various art and decorative works.

Children in Russia

Two children of the artist Eugene and Tatiana,left in Russia with my grandmother, lived very poorly and hungry. Their apartment was compacted, and they occupied only one room, which they had to heat themselves.

In 1933 her mother E.N. Lanceray, died, unable to withstand hunger and deprivation, the children remained themselves. They have already grown up and have chosen to themselves also creative professions: Zhenya became an architect, and Tatyana - an artist in the theater. Gradually they arranged their life, they created families, but for many years they dreamed of meeting their mother, constantly communicating with her.

In the 1930s, the Soviet government invitedher return to her homeland, but in those years Serebryakova worked on a private order in Belgium, and then the Second World War began. Even after the war, she was very ill and did not dare to move.

Only in 1960 Tatiana was able to come to Paris and see her mother, 36 years after the separation.

Exhibitions Serebryakova in Russia

In 1965 during the thaw in the Soviet Unionwas held the only personal exhibition of Zinaida Serebryakova in Moscow, then she was held in Kiev and Leningrad. The artist at that time was 80 years old, and she could not come because of her health, but she was immensely happy that she was remembered at home.

Exhibitions were a huge success, recallingall about a forgotten great artist who has always been devoted to classical art. Serebryakova was able, despite all the turbulent years of the first half of the 20th century, to find her own style. In those years, Europe was dominated by impressionism and art deco, abstract art and other trends.

exhibition of silver zinaida in Moscow

Her children, who lived with her in France, remainedloyal to her until the end of life, equipping her life and helping her financially. They never got their families and lived with her until her death at the age of 82, after which they organized the organization of her exhibitions.

Buried Z. Serebryakova in 1967 in the cemetery of Saint Genevieve de Bois in Paris.

Exhibition in 2017

Exhibition of Zinaida Serebryakova in the Tretyakov Gallerygallery - the largest for the last 30 years (200 paintings and drawings), timed to the 50th anniversary of the death of the artist, runs from April to the end of July 2017.

The previous retrospective of her works took place in 1986, then some projects were performed that showed her works in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and at small private exhibitions.

This time, the curators of the French fund FondationSerebriakoff collected a large number of works to make a grandiose exhibition, which during the summer of 2017 will be located on 2 floors of the Engineering Corps of the gallery.

The retrospective is arranged in chronological order, thatwill allow the viewer to see the various creative lines of the artist Zinaida Serebryakova, starting from the early portraits and ballet works of the dancers of the Mariinsky Theater, which were made in Russia in the 1920s. All her paintings are characterized by emotionality and lyrics, a positive sense of life. In a separate room works with images of her children are presented.

On the next floor are collected works created in Paris in exile, including:

  • Belgian panels made to order by Baron de Brouwer (1937-1937), who at one time were deemed to have died during the war;
  • Moroccan sketches and sketches, written in 1928 and 1932;
  • portraits of Russian emigrants who were written in Paris;
  • landscapes and etudes of nature of France, Spain, etc.

zinaida serebryakov


All the children of Zinaida Serebryakova continuedcreative traditions and became artists and architects, working in various genres. The youngest daughter Serebryakova - Catherine lived a long life, after the death of her mother, she was actively engaged in exhibition activities and work in the fund Fondation Serebriakoff, died at the age of 101 in Paris.

Zinaida Serebryakova was devoted to the traditionsclassical art and found her own manner of painting, showing joy and optimism, faith in love and the power of creativity, capturing many wonderful moments of her and surrounding life.

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