Working in Soil in the Apple Orchard
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Zinaida Evgenievna Serebriakova ( Neskuchnoye estate, Kursk 1884 - Paris 1967 )
Serebriakova was the daughter of the sculptor Yevgeny (Aleksandrovich) Lansere (1848–86) and the sister of Yevgeny Lansere and Nikolay Lansere. She studied at the Princess Tenisheva Art School in St Petersburg (1901). After several years in Italy she went to the studio of Osip Braz (1872–1936) in St Petersburg (1903–5); then the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1905–6). In 1910 she took part in the exhibition in St Petersburg, Sovremennyy zhenskiy portret (‘The modern female portrait’) and in the seventh exhibition in Moscow and St Petersburg of paintings of the Union of Russian Artists, or Soyuz Russkikh Khudozhnikov, at which she exhibited in St Petersburg the portrait (shown above) At the Dressing-table: Self-portrait (1910; Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery) which brought her fame. An unusual composition, it makes use of scumbling and shows an awareness of Old Masters, encouraged by her uncle Alexandre Benois and her brother, both members of the society World of Art, or Mir Iskusstva. The influence of the society, with which she was closely linked from 1911, is noticeable in Pierrot (Self-portrait in a Pierrot Costume) (1911; Odessa, Art Musueum). In contrast to the older members of the society, however, Serebryakova was on the whole indifferent to Art Nouveau and to Symbolism.