Ivan Shishkin – Rain in an Oak Forest (1891)

Given the monikers “Forest Tsar”, “Old Pine Tree” and “Lonely Oak” by his contemporaries, Ivan Shishkin enchanted everyone with his meticulous eye for detail and with his extraordinary skill in grasping the beauty and simplicity of nature. His highly realistic landscapes – usually rendering forests – belong to a larger movement at the time, called…

Natalia Goncharova – The Cyclist (1913)

Born into an aristocratic family descended from the poet Alexander Pushkin, Russian artist Natalia Goncharova was destined for greatness. Eccentric, audacious and fully aware of her capabilities, at only 32 Goncharova became the first woman and avant-garde artist to have a retrospective show in Moscow.  Ultimately, she would be known for co-founding Rayonism, a style…

Konstantin Somov – The Boxer (1933)

The fact that there are such few male nudes in art stands as proof that for the longest time women couldn’t access the art world. Even if they could, it would have been highly inappropriate for them to be alone in a room with a naked male model, let alone paint them for hours. Some…

Kuzma Petrov – Vodkin – Earthquake in the Crimea (1927 – 1928)

He studied art in Russia’s St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also in Munich and Paris, and traveled extensively through Europe, Northern Africa and the Soviet Republic. His paintings were inspired by Russia’s folklore, 19th century painters and religious icons, but also by European artists like Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Giovanni Bellini. He was Kuzma Petrov…