Nikolai Grigorievich Kotov - Before the Mosque
Before the Mosque
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Nikolai Grigorievich Kotov (Tomsk 1889 - Moscow 1968)

Kotov’s work is extremely varied as he adapted his art to the tumultuous changes in Russian society during the first part of the twentieth century. He travelled widely during the 1920’s and 30’s, throughout what was then the Soviet Union, completing several cycles of paintings and graphic works. He often depicted oriental subjects and the present work can be seen as part of these series.

Kotov studied in both his native Tomsk and at the esteemed Moscow College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1922 he was one of the founding members of AkhRR; the artistic group opposed to the non-realist innovations of the avant-garde, and which quickly became the most influential artistic movement in Soviet Russia during the 1920’s. He participated in numerous joint and solo exhibitions, travelled widely and even designed posters for the new Soviet regime. Today his work hangs in some of Russia’s most prestigious museums, including the Tretyakov Gallery and the State Russian Museum.