He was depressed by the revolutionary events of 1905 and his contribution was drawing caricatures of the tsarist officials in satirical journals. He started to paint the worker's struggle as well as producing book illustrations for Russian classical literature. Developing tuberculosis of the spine he travelled to a Swiss clinic for treatment. On his return to Russia he further expanded his oeuvre by painting calendars, book covers and stage scenery.
"Bathing of the Red Horse"
A true Renaissance man who played the violin, wrote and tried to combine art and science his ambition was to synthesise the art of east and west; he also for good measure ran into trouble with the Russian Orthodox Church who destroyed some of his paintings. The painting on the left is "Petrograd 1918" and on the right "Commissar's Death". The latter shows nicely his technique of spherical perspective which distorts the perspective, the viewer feels both high up at a distance yet close to the action while the globe curves in the distance.
Petrov-Vodkin developed pulmonary tuberculosis in 1927 and had to give up painting (the oils affected his lungs) so he turned to writing and produced self illustrated and semi-autobiographical books which are highly regarded. He died in Leningrad in 1939.
|Left - "Rose Still Life" Right - "Morning Still Life"|
His art was then largely forgotten but happily rediscovered in the late 1960s (when his books were also republished) and brought to the philatelists attention here in 1978.
An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - Russia or former Soviet Union Countries