Nikolai Sapunov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sapunov, Nikolai Nikolaevich


Born Dec 17 (29), 1880, in Moscow; died June 14 (27), 1912, in Terioki, now Ze-lenogorsk, Leningrad Oblast. Russian painter and set designer.

Sapunov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from 1893 to 1901. In 1907 he showed his works in the Blue Rose exhibition. He painted striking still lifes (Vases and Flowers, tempera, 1910, Tret’iakov Gallery) and grotesque genre scenes (The Merry-go-round, tempera and oil, 1908, Russian Museum, Leningrad; Drinking Tea, tempera and charcoal, 1912, Tret’iakov Gallery). In these works Sapunov combined a sense of reality with a dramatic fairy-tale atmosphere, using unrestrainedly vibrant blues, yellows, and oranges. In 1905, Sapunov took part in the establishment of V. E. Meyerhold’s symbolist theater. Later he worked on a production of A. A. Blok’s The Puppet Show at Komissarzhevskaia’s Theater (St. Petersburg, 1906); the production was marked by a synthesis of Sapunov’s artistic aims with those of the playwright and the director. Sapunov’s designs for the production of A. Schnitzler’s Columbine’s Scarf in the House of Interludes (St. Petersburg, 1910) recalled the fantastic spirit of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s works.


N. Sapunov: Stikhi, vospominaniia, kharakteristiki. [Collection.] Moscow, 1916.
Alpatov, M. V., and E. A. Gunst. N. N. Sapunov. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.