Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.
Kazimir Malevich was a Russian artist and art theorist. His pioneering work had a major influence on the development of abstract art in the 20th century. An influential personality, Malevich's art and writing influenced several artists like Lyubov Popova, El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Ad Reinhardt. His works are showcased in many major art museums around the world.
Born amid poverty in Ukraine, Ilya Repin earned himself an art scholarship and later devoted his life to historical painting. A major figure of the realist movement in painting, he had also been the subject of controversies, such as the withdrawal of his painting of Ivan the Terrible murdering his own son.
Russian painter, writer, philosopher, theosophist and archaeologist, Nicholas Roerich, counted among the greatest Russian painters, is noted for initiating the modern movement for the defense of cultural objects. One of the greatest feats that he achieved during his lifetime was the Roerich Pact that was signed into law by the US and most nations of the Pan-American Union.
One of the most iconic medieval painters from Russia, Andrei Rublev is best remembered for his work The Old Testament Trinity. Initially an assistant of Theophanes the Greek, he later became a monk. Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Andrei Rublev throws light on the life and times of the artist.
Russian mystic and cult leader Vissarion is best remembered for launching the Church of the Last Testament. Born Sergey (or Sergei) Torop, he was once accused by Russian intelligence agencies of harming his followers physically and psychologically. While he believes to be the reincarnated Christ, he continues to run his Siberia-based cult.
El Lissitzky remains to be one of the greatest figures of the Russian avant-garde movement. Apart from excelling as a painter, an architect, and a photographer, he also pioneered 20th-century nonrepresentational art. He was also part of the De Stijl and had taught at the Bauhaus, too.
Remembered as one of the founders of the avant-garde movement named Russian constructivism, Alexander Rodchenko has experimented with photography, paintings, posters, photomontage, and sculpture. Most of his works have political overtones. He was a prominent member of the October Group and was geared toward making art for the working classes.
Russian artist and architect Viktor Vasnetsov is best remembered for his work on the façade of Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery. He also remains one of the most significant figures of the Peredvizhniki movement, with paintings such as Moving House and A Game of Preference. He later depicted folk tales and legends.
Ivan Shishkin was a Russian painter best remembered for his associaton with the Peredvizhniki movement. He achieved popularity for his forest landscapes, such as Morning in a Pine Forest and Rain in an Oak Forest. He was also an excellent printmaker and a draftsman. Shishkin also worked as a professor of painting in several prestigious institutions like the Imperial Academy.
Isaac Levitan was a Russian landscape painter remembered for his work that popularized the mood landscape genre. One of the most important landscape painters of his generation, Levitan was elected to the Russian Academy of Arts in 1897. The following year, Levitan was chosen as the head of the Landscape Studio at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
Vasily Vereshchagin was a Russian war artist who became one of the earliest artists from Russia to be recognized internationally. Vereshchagin is best remembered for his realist war scenes which were not printed or exhibited extensively due to their graphic nature. Vasily Vereshchagin is one of the most popular Russian war artists of all time.
Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist best known for his political art performances. He is generally considered a controversial artist as his work involves self-mutilation and nudity. In 2016, he was honored with the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, which was later withdrawn when Petr Pavlensky announced that he would dedicate the prize to an insurgent group.
Valentin Serov was a Russian painter best remembered as a master of portraiture. Apart from painting the portraits of prominent personalities, Serov also painted several self-portraits. From 1897 to 1909, he taught painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he taught future painters like Pavel Kuznetsov, Martiros Saryan, N. N. Sapunov, Konstantin Yuon, and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.
Boris Kustodiev was a stage designer and painter best remembered for his association with the popular artistic group, Mir iskusstva. Kustodiev was elected into the Russian Academy of Arts in 1909. In 1923, he became a part of the famous Association of Artists of the Revolution.
Léon Bakst was a Russian painter, costume designer, and scene designer of Belarusian origin. He worked closely with the Ballets Russes, where he designed richly colored, exotic costumes and sets. His best-known works include productions like Daphnis and Chloe, Spectre de la rose, and The Sleeping Princess. In 1914, he was made a member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Angelina Beloff was a Russian-born artist best remembered for her work in Mexico. She also contributed as an art teacher in Mexico. Beloff is also known as the first wife of Mexican painter Diego Rivera; her professional achievements were largely overshadowed by her marriage and subsequent divorce. Her life and career inspired a novel by Elena Poniatowska.
Vasily Surikov was a Russian painter best remembered as an exponent of Realist history painting. Many of his paintings have been used as illustrations and that has contributed to his popularity among the general public. His life and career inspired a biographical movie named Vasily Surikov where Surikov was played by Russian-American actor Yevgeni Nikolayevich Lazarev.
Arkhip Kuindzhi was a Russian painter of Greek origin. Best remembered for his landscape paintings, Kuindzhi traveled extensively throughout his life. He then went on to serve as a professor at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in Russia. He is credited with teaching future painters and artists like Konstantin Bogaevsky, Nicholas Roerich, and Arkady Rylov.
Vladimir Tatlin was a painter, stage designer, and architect who achieved popularity after designing The Monument to the Third International. Tatlin was one of the most prominent personalities in the Soviet avant-garde movement during the 1920s. Vladimir Tatlin also contributed immensely to the Constructivist movement. He is also credited with teaching future architects and painters like Joseph Karakis.
Alexej von Jawlensky was a Russian painter best remembered for his work in Germany. An influential figure, Jawlensky was an important member of several popular groups like the New Munich Artist's Association, The Blue Rider, and The Blue Four. The Jawlensky Award was established in his honor in 1991. The award is presented once every five years.
Mikhail Vrubel was a Russian painter best remembered for his expertise in all genres of art, such as painting, graphics, theatrical art, and decorative sculpture. At the start of the 20th century, his art became an integral part of Art Nouveau. In 1905, Mikhail Vrubel was honored with the title Academician of Painting.
Ivan Kramskoi was a Russian art critic and painter. Kramskoi played an important role as an intellectual leader of a popular Russian art movement called The Itinerants between 1860 and 1880. He was also considered an eccentric as he would not charge money for expensive frames while giving his works to his customers.
Zurab Tsereteli is a Georgian painter, architect, and sculptor best known for his large-scale and controversial monuments. An influential figure, Tsereteli has been serving as the Russian Academy of Arts' President since 1997. Zurab Tsereteli is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, such as the USSR State Prize, Lenin Prize, and Russian Federation State Prize.
Konstantin Makovsky was a Russian painter best remembered for his association with the popular group The Wanderers. Widely regarded as an exponent of Academic art, Makovsky portrayed Russian life in the past centuries through his historical paintings like Beneath the Crown. One of the highest-paid and most respected Russian artists, Konstantin Makovsky is also considered the primogenitor of Russian impressionism.
Karl Briullov was a Russian painter who played an important role in the transition from neoclassicism to romanticism. Nicknamed Karl the Great, Bryullov is best remembered for producing some of the most memorable works like A Dream of a Girl Before a Sunrise, Italian Midday, and The Last Day of Pompeii.
Lyubov Popova was a Russian avant-garde painter and designer best remembered for her association with influential movements like Constructivism, Suprematism, and Cubism. She traveled extensively to learn from various styles of painting. Througout her career, Lyubov Popova also worked with other important painters like Aleksandra Ekster, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Ivan Kliun, Olga Rozanova, and Nina Genke among others.
Marie Bashkirtseff was a Ukrainian artist who worked and lived in Paris. Bashkirtseff emerged as an intellectual in Paris and produced works like The Meeting and In the Studio before succumbing to tuberculosis in 1884 at age 25. Although many of her works were destroyed by the Nazis, over 60 of her paintings are preserved in places like Musée d'Orsay.
Mikhail Nesterov was a painter best remembered for his association with The Wanderers and Mir Iskusstva. One of the earliest exponents of Symbolism in Russia, Nesterov went on to produce popular works like The Great Taking of the Veil, The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew, and Three old men with a fox.
Pavel Tchelitchew was a Russian-born painter, costume designer, and set designer. As a painter, he was best remembered for his surrealist works. His works are currently preserved at places like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Russian post-impressionist painter Leonid Pasternak had initially studied medicine and law before joining the Munich-based Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Apart from being associated with the Peredvizhniki, he also co-founded the Union of Russian Artists. His best works include family scenes in watercolor. He was the father of poet-novelist Boris Pasternak.
Russian avant-garde artist and stage designer Mikhail Larionov is best known as a co-founder of the Rayonist movement, which he established along with his wife and collaborator Natalya Goncharova. He also introduced abstraction in painting and spent his later life in France, obtaining a French citizenship.
Part of the Russian Cubo-futurist and Constructivist movements, Aleksandra Ekster was the daughter of an affluent Belarussian businessman. Trained in fine arts since childhood, she later mastered color, light, and movement equilibrium. She later moved to France with her lawyer husband, where she actively participated in salon exhibitions.
Considered the most popular female Soviet sculptor, Vera Mukhina earned the nickname of the queen of Soviet sculpture. After a plastic surgery following a sledging accident as a young girl, she focused on studying sculpting. The five-time Stalin Prize winner is remembered for her works such as Peasant Woman.
Russian avant-garde artist Varvara Stepanova was best known for her pioneering contribution to the Constructivist art movement, along with her husband, artist Alexander Rodchenko. Apart from painting, she experimented with a variety of art forms, such as set design, book design, political propaganda, graphics, textile design, and poetry.
Known for her tempera paintings, Russian artist Marianne von Werefkin had started drawing at 14. She later lived and worked in cities such as Munich and Zurich. Specializing in landscapes and portraits, she also contributed to the Blauer Reiter group and later established the Großer Bär group.
Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov was a Russian painter. He is best remembered for his work The Appearance of Christ Before the People which took him 20 years to complete, earning him the nickname master of one work. Over the course of his career, Ivanov also produced other popular works like the Last supper that are preserved at the State Russian Museum.
Oleg Prokofiev was a Russian artist, poet, and sculptor. Prokofiev traveled extensively and exhibited his work worldwide, including places like the UK, France, Russia, and the USA. Today, his artworks can be found in places like The State Tretyakov Gallery, The Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Leeds City Art Gallery, and the Zimmerli Art Museum.
Best remembered as a founder of the Mir iskusstva art movement and magazine, Alexandre Benois was, at the same time, an artist, an art critic, theater art director, and ballet librettist. Some of his best works were for iconic ballets such as The Nutcracker and Sylvia. He contributed immensely to modern ballet.
Associated with the Mir iskusstva art movement, Russian artist Konstantin Somov was born into an artistically inclined family. He is known for his still lifes and portraits and often featured Boris Snezhkovsky in his paintings, the most notable being Nude Youth and The Boxer. He also contributed to World of Art.
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was a Russian painter best remembered for his early iconographic work that used special effects, exploiting the curve of the globe. Not surprisingly, the Russian Orthodox Church called his work blasphemous. Despite such oppositions, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin went on to serve as the Leningrad Union of Soviet Artists' first president.
Orest Kiprensky was a Russian portraitist best remembered for his portrait of Russian poet and playwright, Alexander Pushkin. Renowned for his association with Romanticism, Orest Kiprensky worked on the portraits of several influential people like Count Sergey Semionovich Uvarov, Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky, and Konstantin Nikolayevich Batyushkov.
Vladimir Volegov is a Russian visual artist best known for his early work on graphic art for comics, commercial posters, and music recordings. Volegov has achieved international fame for his realistic oil paintings depicting outdoor family life scenes. A prolific painting educator, Vladimir Volegov has taught art through hands-on workshops and personal tutoring.
Olga Rozanova was a Russian avant-garde artist remembered for her association with important movements like Cubo-Futurism, Neo-Primitivism, and Suprematism. She was also an active member of an organization called Soyuz Molodyozhi which organized lectures, discussions, and art exhibitions. Many of her works are preserved at the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.
The son of a painter father, Vladimir Borovikovsky grew up to be a master of ecclesiastic painting and portraits. He was patronized by Empress Catherine II and commissioned to decorate her palace with his works. A 1794 portrait of the empress, drawn by him, was the first instance of sentimentalism in painting.
Renowned Russian portrait and landscape painter Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky was also an academician and a member of the Academy of Arts. After being active in Riga, Latvia, he was forced to move to Berlin after the occupation of the Baltic States and was killed in an Allied bombing.
The son of Russian painter and cultural icon Nicholas Roerich and theosophist Helena Roerich, Svetoslav Roerich grew up studying architecture and eventually experimented with landscape and portrait painting, influenced by expressionism. He later moved to India, where he married actor Devika Rani and was awarded a Padma Bhushan.
After losing his father early in life, Nathan Altman focused on his goal of becoming an artist. Unhappy with the quality of teaching at the Odessa Art School, he traveled to Paris, where he was inspired by fellow artists. A leading figure of Cubism, he also contributed to stage design and book illustration.
Dionisius, or Dionisius the Wise, mastered the Novgorod, or Moscow, school of icon painting. Remembered for his own style of Byzantine painting, which was termed Muscovite Mannerism, he experimented with media and produced many encaustic and tempera works, too. His art adorns places such as Moscow’s Cathedral of the Dormition.