MIKHAIL VRUBEL (1856–1910)

 

Mikhail Vrubel was born in Omsk. He studied at the Faculty of Law at the St. Petersburg University (1874–1880) and at the Academy of Arts (1880–1884). He was a painter, a graphic artist, a decorative and applied arts designer, a scene-painter, an illustrator, and an architect.

Vrubel was a member of the "World of Art" association (since 1900), academician of the Academy of Arts (1905). He was a participant of the Abramtsevo Colony since 1889. Between 1889 and 1891 in the Mamontovs' Moscow house Vrubel painted the canvas "Seated Demon" (1890, the State Tretyakov Gallery) and the portraits of Mamontov's family members. Since 1890, he was an artistic director of the Abramtsevo pottery, created decorative dishes, vases and sculptures.

Vrubel made sketches for the tiles that adorn the stoves and fireplaces in the Mamontovs Moscow house, as well as in the Abramtsevo house and Church of the Savior. The artist was the author of the fireplace screens "Tale" and "Prince Guido and Swan-princess" (1890s). He prepared the project of the cottage near the Mamontovs' Moscow house (1892). In 1896, Mamontov ordered Vrubel the panels "Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga" and "Princess of Dream" for the All-Russia Industrial and Art Exhibition at Nizhny Novgorod.

In 1899–1903, he repeated "Princess of Dream" in the mosaics on the hotel "Metropol" in Moscow. Vrubel participated in the amateur performances and painted decorations for them, he cooperated with the Russian Private Opera of Savva Mamontov as a scene-painter. Now the Abramtsevo Museum maintains Mikhail Vrubel's pictures and graphic works as well as his decorative and applied art masterpieces.