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Pavel Nikolayevich Filonov (1883-1941)

Pavel Nikolayevich Filonov was a Russian avant-garde painter, art theorist, and poet.

Filonov was born in Moscow and early orphaned in 1897 he moved to St. Petersburg, where he earned money through embroidery, house painting, restoring buildings and icons, and other tasks such as retouching photographs and making posters and wrappers for goods (a practical apprenticeship he never forgot). From 1908 to 1910, he attended the Academy of Arts, but was expelled in 1910.

Through his art, Pavel Filonov sought to observe and understand the forces that comprise the human existence, both the internal and external factors.He aimed to achieve a systematic knowledge of the world and it's human inhabitants. Filonov's paintings were in effect not mere images with meaning; -- his work went beyond that -- they were manifestations of intellectual concepts, something derived from his theory and ideology. The viewer of the art was to observe a "projective intellect" within the imagery. "A picture suggests to the mind of its viewer a single conclusion, which cannot be translated into words."

After the 1917 revolution, Filonov worked to complete the development of his "analytical painting". The changes in the Russian society brought inspiration to the Futurist artists. Filonov dedicated much of his time and effort to artistic research and creativity, working on his paintings as much as 18 hours a day. In 1925, having found many followers and supporters for his style of expression, he founded a school in Petrograd, which was shut down by the government in 1928, together with all other private artistic and cultural organizations.

In 1929, a large retrospective exhibition of Filonov art was planned at the Russian Museum; however, the Soviet government forbade the exhibition from going forward. From 1932 onward, Filonov literally starved but still refused to sell his works to private collectors. He wanted to give all his works to the Russian Museum as a gift so as to start a Museum of Analytical Realism. He died of starvation on December 3, 1941 during the Nazi Siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

Most of Filonov's works were saved by his sister Yevdokiya Glebova. She stored the paintings in the Russian Museum's archives and eventually donated them as a gift. For a long time exhibitions of Filonov's work were forbidden. But, eventually, an exhibition took place in Novosibirsk in 1967. In 1988 his works were oficially allowed to be exhibited in the Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. In 1989 and 1990, the first international exhibitions of Filonov's work were held in Paris.

During the period of half-legal status of Filonov's works it was seemingly easy to steal them; however, there was a legend that Filonov's ghost protected his art, and anybody trying to steal his paintings or to smuggle them abroad would soon die, become paralyzed, or have a similar misfortune.

Sources: Wikipedia, www.all-art.org, www.studiotreasure.com

Joan Miro Claude Monet Edgar Degas Emily Carr Marc Chagall Renoir Van Gogh Yasek Jerka Pavel Filonov Ray CaesarRembrandt History of Arts Rob Gonsalves

A Peasant Family (The Holy Family) 1914
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Ships 1919
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Two Men 1938
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

The German War (World War II) 1914-15
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

First Symphony of D. Shostakovich 1925-27
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Animals 1925
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Live Head 1923
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Raider
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Formula of Revolution
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

A Small House in Moscow 1940
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Icon of St. Catherina 1908-1910
Private collection, Paris

They Who Have Nothing To Lose 1911-1912
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Escape to Egipt
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Musicians 1912
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Universal Flowering 1915
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Heads
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Faces on an Icon 1940
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

King Feast
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

The Collective Farm Peasant
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg


Heads 1910
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Animals 1930
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

A Man and a Woman
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

East and West 1912-1913
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

West and East 1912-13
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Kings' Feast
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Girl with a Flower 1913
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

At the Table 1912-1913
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Fishing Schooner 1912-13
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Execution (After 1905). 1913
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Portrait of Arman Franzevich Aziber with His Son 1915
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Self-Portait 1925
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

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