Filipp Andreevich Maliavin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maliavin, Filipp Andreevich


Born Oct. 10 (22), 1869, in the village of Kazanka, in present-day Orenburg Oblast; died Dec. 23, 1940, in Brussels. Russian painter.

Maliavin, the son of a peasant, studied at the monastery icon-painting workshop at Mount Athos in Greece from 1885 to 1891 and at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts under I. E. Repin from 1892 to 1899. He visited France in 1900, and after 1922 he lived abroad. In the 1890’s, working in a style similar to that of Repin, Maliavin painted a number of portraits of peasants (Peasant Girl With a Stocking, 1895, Tret’iakov Gallery) and his fellow students (K. A. Somova, 1895; I. E. Grabar’ 1895; E. M. Martynova, 1897—all in the Russian Museum in Leningrad). These portraits are marked by a restrained palette, subtle modeling, and keen characterizations.

In the late 1890’s and the early years of the 20th century, Maliavin’s work tended to be highly decorative and had some features of the art nouveau style. Although he continued to deal with peasant themes, the artist began to create more generalized images. Representational elements gave way to free patches of intensive color; the color patches were rhythmically organized into a flat, decorative, kaleidoscopic, and dynamic whole that framed the carefully modeled faces of the figures. In these works (Laughter, 1899, Gallery of Modern Art, Venice; The Wench, 1903, Tret’iakov Gallery; Whirlwind, 1906, Tret’iakov Gallery), Maliavin achieved a spell-binding intensity of color that embodied the spontaneous power of the people and conveyed a myriad of emotions from uncontrollable gaiety to gloomy concentration.

In his later works, Maliavin varied his motifs and techniques. Banal, superficial elements, which had appeared in the artist’s paintings as early as the second decade of the 20th century, are particularly evident in the works Maliavin did abroad (The Women, 1914, private collection, Paris; Russian Peasant Women, 1925, Art Museum of the Latvian SSR, Riga). Maliavin’s numerous drawings are terse and softly modeled (the series of sketches of V. I. Lenin, 1920—in the V. I. Lenin Central Museum in Moscow, the British Museum in London, and other collections).


Aleksandrova, N. F. A. Maliavin. Moscow, 1966.
Zhivova, O. A. F. A. Maliavin. Moscow, 1967.


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