Borisov-Musatov, Viktor Elpidiforovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Borisov-Musatov, Viktor El’pidiforovich


Born Apr. 2 (14), 1870, in Saratov; died Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1905, in Tarusa. Russian artist.

Borisov-Musatov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1890–91 and 1893–95), at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art (1891–93) under P. P. Chistiakov, and at the studio of F. Cormon (1895–98) in Paris. He was a member (from 1899) and one of the leaders of the Moscow Artists’ Association and a member of the Union of Russian Artists (from 1904). From 1898 he lived mainly in Saratov and from 1903 in Podol’sk and Tarusa. During the mature period of his work (the beginning of the 1900’s) he developed his own manner of painting, which combined a profoundly individual interpretation of the principles of the plein air school of painting with a decorative quality in the overall composition (so-called decorative pleinairism). In his works, imbued with elegiac feeling, where the emotional content of the landscape plays a major role, Borisov-Musatov sought to express his dream of a beautiful world in which man enjoys harmonious unity with nature. He had a considerable influence on Russian painting of the early 20th century, especially on the work of artists of the Blue Rose Association. His works, May Flowers (1894), Agave (1897, Tapestry (tempera, 1901), Reservoir (tempera, 1902), Emerald Necklace (tempera, 1903–04), and Nut Bush (pastel, 1905) are all in the Tret’iakov Gallery.


Rusakova, A. V. E. Borisov-Musatov. Leningrad-Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.