Aleksandr Vasilevich Kuprin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kuprin, Aleksandr Vasil’evich


Born Mar. 10 (22), 1880, in Borisoglebsk, in present-day Voronezh Oblast; died Mar. 18, 1960, in Moscow. Soviet painter. Corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954); Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1956).

Kuprin studied in private art studios in St. Petersburg from 1902 to 1904 and in Moscow from 1904 to 1906. He was a student of A. E. Arkhipov and K A. Korovin at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture between 1906 and 1910. One of the founding members of the Jack of Diamonds association (1910), he was also a member of the Moscow Painters Association (from 1925) and the Society of Moscow Artists (from 1928). From 1918 to 1952 he lectured at Vkhutemas (State Higher Arts and Technical Studios), Vkhutein (Higher Art and Technical Institute), the Moscow Textile Institute, and other institutions.

During the early period of his artistic career (1910–1925), Kuprin was somewhat influenced by cubism. His most characteristic works of this period were still lifes that combined decorative principles with keen analytical insight into the objects being depicted (Still Life With Blue Tray, 1914; Still Life With a Statuette, 1919; Autumn Bouquet, 1925—all in the Tret’iakov Gallery). Toward the end of the 1920’s, realistic tendencies became stronger in Kuprin’s work. He abandoned the approach of the Jack of Diamonds group for a more direct manner, taking up plein air painting and adopting its characteristic treatment of volume and space. In his landscapes, painted mainly in the Crimea, Kuprin revealed the innermost harmony and dynamics of nature and its tactile quality (The Poplars, 1927; The Beasal’skaia Valley, 1937—both in the Tret’iakov Gallery). Kuprin was an outstanding master of the industrial landscape (The Plant, 1915; Baku: The Oil Fields of Bibi-Eibat, 1931—both in the Tret’iakov Gallery).


Nikol’skii, V. A. V. Kuprin. Moscow, 1935.
Zhidkova, E. A. V. Kuprin. Moscow, 1956. [Polevoi, V. M.] A. V. Kuprin. Moscow, 1963.
Kravchenko, K. S. A. V. Kuprin. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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