Famous Russian Artists

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 1 
Wassily Kandinsky
(Russian Painter, Art Theorist and a Pioneer in Abstract Art)
Wassily Kandinsky
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Birthdate: December 16, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 13, 1944
Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky is considered the pioneer of abstract art. Known for notable works such as On White II and Study for Improvisation, he was a prominent artist of the Blue Rider Period and experimented with expressionism. He also earned a professorship at the University of Dorpat
 2 
Marc Chagall
(Artist)
Marc Chagall
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Birthdate: July 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lizona, Belarus
Died: March 28, 1985

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.

 3 
Kazimir Malevich
(Russian Avant-Garde Artist and Founder of the ‘Suprematist’ School of Abstract Painting)
Kazimir Malevich
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Birthdate: February 23, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: May 15, 1935

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.

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 4 
Peter Carl Fabergé
(Jeweller best known for the famous Fabergé eggs made in the style of genuine Easter eggs)
Peter Carl Fabergé
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Birthdate: May 30, 1846
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: September 24, 1920

Apart from being the official jeweler of the Russian imperial court, Peter Carl Fabergé also created some of the most innovative jewelry designs, such as the iconic Fabergé eggs. He had also launched workshops in London, Moscow, and Kiev. Later, hounded by the revolutionary government, he fled to Switzerland.

 5 
Nicholas Roerich
(Russian Painter, Archaeologist and Philosopher)
Nicholas Roerich
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Birthdate: October 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 13, 1947

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.

 6 
Vissarion
(Painter)
Vissarion
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Birthdate: January 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Krasnodar

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.   

 7 
Andrei Rublev
(One of the Greatest Medieval Russian Painters of Orthodox Christian Icons and Frescos)
Andrei Rublev
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Birthdate: 1360 AD
Birthplace: Russia
Died: January 29, 1430

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.

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 8 
El Lissitzky
(An Important Figure of the Russian Avant-garde Who Helped Develop the Art Movement 'Suprematism')
El Lissitzky
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Birthdate: November 23, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pochinok, Russia
Died: December 30, 1941

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.

 9 
Alexander Rodchenko
(Russian Artist and One of the Founders of 'Constructivism' and Russian Design)
Alexander Rodchenko
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Birthdate: December 5, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 3, 1956

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.

 10 
Ivan Shishkin
(Painter)
Ivan Shishkin
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Birthdate: January 25, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yelabuga, Russia
Died: March 20, 1898

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.

 11 
Viktor Vasnetsov
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Birthdate: May 15, 1848
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kirov, Russia
Died: June 23, 1926

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.

 12 
Isaac Levitan
(One of the Best Classical Russian Landscape Painters of the 19th Century )
Isaac Levitan
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Birthdate: August 30, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kibartay, Lithuania
Died: August 4, 1900

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.

 13 
Vasily Vereshchagin
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Birthdate: October 26, 1842
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cherepovets, Novgorod Governorate, Russia
Died: April 13, 1904

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.

 14 
Petr Pavlensky
(Artivist, Political activist, Performance artist, Painter, Artist, Anarchist)
Petr Pavlensky
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Birthdate: March 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leningrad

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.

 15 
Vladimir Tatlin
(Painter, Architect)
Vladimir Tatlin
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Birthdate: December 28, 1885
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 31, 1953

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.

 16 
Boris Kustodiev
(Painter,Stage designer)
Boris Kustodiev
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Birthdate: March 7, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Astrakhan, Russia
Died: May 28, 1927

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.

 17 
Valentin Serov
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Birthdate: January 19, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 5, 1911

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.

 18 
Léon Bakst
(Painter)
Léon Bakst
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Birthdate: January 27, 1866
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus
Died: December 28, 1924

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.  

 19 
Angelina Beloff
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Birthdate: June 23, 1879
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: December 30, 1969

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.

 20 
Vasily Surikov
(Realist history painter)
Vasily Surikov
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Birthdate: January 24, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Died: March 19, 1916

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.

 21 
Ivan Kramskoi
(Painter, art critic who was an intellectual leader of the art movement known as the Wanderers between 1860–1880)
Ivan Kramskoi
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Birthdate: June 8, 1837
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ostrogozhsk, Russia
Died: April 6, 1887

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.

 22 
Alexej von Jawlensky
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Birthdate: March 26, 1864
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Torzhok, Russia
Died: March 15, 1941

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.

 23 
Mikhail Vrubel
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Birthdate: March 17, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Omsk, Russia
Died: April 14, 1910

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.

 24 
Zurab Tsereteli
(Russian Painter, Sculptor and Architect Known for Large-Scale and at Times Controversial Monuments)
Zurab Tsereteli
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Birthdate: January 4, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia

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. 

 25 
Konstantin Makovsky
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Birthdate: June 20, 1839
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: September 17, 1915

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.

 26 
Karl Briullov
(Painter)
Karl Briullov
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Birthdate: December 12, 1799
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 11, 1852

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.

 27 
Arkhip Kuindzhi
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Birthdate: January 27, 1842
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mariupol, Russian
Died: July 24, 1910

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.

 28 
Lyubov Popova
(Was a Russian avant-garde artist (Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist), painter and designer)
Lyubov Popova
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Birthdate: April 24, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ivanovskoe, Russia
Died: May 25, 1924

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.

 29 
Marie Bashkirtseff
(Russian Artist and Sculptor)
Marie Bashkirtseff
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Birthdate: November 24, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Havrontsi, Ukraine
Died: October 31, 1884

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. 

 30 
Mikhail Nesterov
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Birthdate: May 31, 1862
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ufa, Russia
Died: October 18, 1942

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. 

 31 
Pavel Tchelitchew
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Birthdate: October 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dubrovka, Russia
Died: July 31, 1957

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.

 32 
Leonid Pasternak
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Birthdate: April 3, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Odesa, Ukraine
Died: May 31, 1945

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.

 33 
Alexandre Benois
(Russian Artist Known for His Watercolor Painting)
Alexandre Benois
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Birthdate: May 3, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 9, 1960

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.

 34 
Varvara Stepanova
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Birthdate: 1894 AD
Birthplace: Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: May 20, 1958

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.

 35 
Vera Mukhina
(Sculptor)
Vera Mukhina
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Birthdate: July 1, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Died: October 6, 1953

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.

 36 
Aleksandra Ekster
(Costume designer)
Aleksandra Ekster
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Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bialystok, Poland
Died: March 17, 1949

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.

 37 
Mikhail Larionov
(Painter Known for Pioneering the First Approach to Abstract Russian Art)
Mikhail Larionov
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Birthdate: June 3, 1881
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tiraspol, Moldova
Died: May 10, 1964

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.

 38 
Marianne von Werefkin
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Birthdate: September 10, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tula, Russia
Died: February 6, 1938

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.

 39 
Alexander Liberman
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Birthdate: September 4, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: November 19, 1999

Alexander Liberman was a Ukrainian-American painter, sculptor, magazine editor, publisher, and photographer. He is best remembered for his association with Condé Nast Publications where he held senior artistic positions over the course of his 32 years at Condé Nast.

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov
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Birthdate: July 16, 1806
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 3, 1858

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.

 41 
Oleg Prokofiev
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Birthdate: December 14, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 20, 1998

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.

 42 
Vladimir Volegov
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Birthdate: December 19, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Khabarovsk, Russia

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.

 43 
Konstantin Somov
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Birthdate: November 30, 1869
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 6, 1939

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.

 44 
Orest Kiprensky
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Birthdate: March 24, 1782
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nezhnovo, Yamburgsky Uyezd, Saint Petersburg Governorate, Russia
Died: October 17, 1836

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.

Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov
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Birthdate: May 13, 1804
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: October 5, 1860

Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov was a Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, and amateur artist. Apart from co-founding an intellectual movement called the Slavophile movement, Khomyakov went on to serve as one of the most distinguished theoreticians of the movement.

 46 
Chaim Soutine
(Painter)
Chaim Soutine
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Birthdate: January 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Smilavichy, Belarus
Died: August 9, 1943

Chaim Soutine was a Belarussian painter who lived and worked in Paris. Best remembered for his contribution to the expressionist movement, Soutine served as a bridge between the growing form of Abstract expressionism and more traditional approaches. Today, many of his paintings are preserved at places like The Jewish Museum in New York. 

 47 
Vladimir Borovikovsky
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Birthdate: August 4, 1757
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Myrhorod, Ukraine
Died: April 18, 1825

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.

 48 
Olga Rozanova
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Birthdate: June 22, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melenki, Russia
Died: November 7, 1918

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.

Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky
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Birthdate: December 6, 1868
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shitiki, Russia
Died: February 19, 1945

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.

 50 
Jules Olitski
(Painter)
Jules Olitski
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Birthdate: March 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Snovsk, Russia
Died: February 4, 2007

Jules Olitski was an American sculptor, painter, and printmaker. Over the course of his career, Olitski exhibited worldwide and received an award at Carnegie International in the early-1960s. In addition to being an artist, Jules Olitski also taught painting from 1963 to 1967 at Bennington College.