Mstislav Dobuzhinsky

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Portrait of Dobuzhinsky
by Osip Braz M. Dobuschinski.jpg
Portrait of Dobuzhinsky
by Osip Braz

Mstislav Valerianovich Dobuzhinsky or Dobujinsky (Lithuanian : Mstislavas Dobužinskis, August 14, 1875, Novgorod – November 20, 1957, New York City) was a Russian-Lithuanian artist noted for his cityscapes conveying the explosive growth and decay of the early twentieth-century city.

Lithuanian language Language spoken in Lithuania

Lithuanian is a Baltic language spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Lithuanians and the official language of Lithuania as well as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.9 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 200,000 abroad.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

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Of noble Lithuanian extraction, Dobuzhinsky was born on August 14, 1875 in Novgorod into the family of an army officer. From 1885 to 1887, he attended the Drawing School of the Society for the Promotion of the Artists. Between 1895 and 1899, he read Law at the University of St. Petersburg, simultaneously studying in private studios. After graduating from the University, he was trained from 1899 to 1901 by Anton Ažbe in Munich and Simon Hollósy in Nagybánya (Austria-Hungary). In Munich, he came to be influenced by the Jugendstil. On his return to Russia, he joined the Mir Iskusstva, an artistic circle which idealized the 18th century as the "age of elegance".

Anton Ažbe Slovenian artist

Anton Ažbe was a Slovene realist painter and teacher of painting. Ažbe, crippled since birth and orphaned at the age of 8, learned painting as an apprentice to Janez Wolf and at the Academies in Vienna and Munich. At the age of 30 Ažbe founded his own school of painting in Munich that became a popular attraction for Eastern European students. Ažbe trained the "big four" Slovenian impressionists and a whole generation of Russian painters. Ažbe's training methods were adopted and reused by Russian artists both at home and in emigration.

Munich Capital and most populous city of Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Simon Hollósy Hungarian artist

Simon Hollósy; (2 February 1857, Máramarossziget – 8 May 1918, Técső was a Hungarian painter. He was considered one of the greatest Hungarian representatives of 19th-century Naturalism and Realism.

Dobuzhinsky was distinguished from other miriskusniki by his expressionist manner and keen interest in modern industrial cityscapes. He often painted seedy or tragic scenes from urban life which expressed the nightmarish bleakness and loneliness of modern times. Among his works were also humorous vignettes and sketches with demon-like creatures which seemed to embody the monstrosities of urbanization.

Cityscape art genre

In the visual arts a cityscape is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area. It is the urban equivalent of a landscape. Townscape is roughly synonymous with cityscape, though it implies the same difference in urban size and density implicit in the difference between the words city and town. In urban design the terms refer to the configuration of built forms and interstitial space.

Sketch (drawing) quickly executed freehand drawing

A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.

Like other members of the Mir iskusstva, Dobuzhinsky also experimented with scenic design. At first he worked for Constantin Stanislavski at the Moscow Arts Theatre, but later on also contributed sets to several Diaghilev productions. He was renowned as an excellent art teacher; among his young pupils was Vladimir Nabokov, with whom he maintained correspondence for decades.

<i>Mir iskusstva</i>

Mir iskusstva was a Russian magazine and the artistic movement it inspired and embodied, which was a major influence on the Russians who helped revolutionize European art during the first decade of the 20th century. In fact, few Europeans outside Russia actually saw issues of the magazine itself.

Scenic design creation of theatrical or film scenery

Scenic design is the creation of theatrical, as well as film or television scenery. Scenic designers come from a variety of artistic backgrounds, but in recent years, are mostly trained professionals, holding a B.F.A. or M.F.A. degrees in theater arts. Scenic designers design sets and scenery that aim to support the overall artistic goals of the production.

Vladimir Nabokov Russian-American novelist, lepidopterist, professor

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a Russian-born American novelist, poet, translator and entomologist. His first nine novels were in Russian, but he achieved international prominence after he began writing English prose.

Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, A man with eyeglasses, or The portrait of Konstantin Sunnerberg, 1901-1902, The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. K. Sunnerberg by M. Dobuzhinsky.jpg
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, A man with eyeglasses, or The portrait of Konstantin Sunnerberg, 1901-1902, The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

During the First World War Dobuzhinsky went with Eugene Lanceray to the front lines to sketch. In 1918, he supervised the theatrical workshop at the State Educational Workshops of the Decorative Arts (the former Stieglitz School of the Technical Drawing). In 1920, he took part in the Second Congress of the Communist International. In 1923-24, he went abroad to study developments in European art and to arrange one-man shows. In 1924, Dobuzhinsky followed the advice of Jurgis Baltrusaitis and withdrew to Lithuania. He was naturalized there in 1924 and lived in Kaunas until 1925. Between 1925 and 1929 lived in Paris where he designed sets for Nikita Balieff's The Bat.He returned to Lithuania in 1929. In Lithuania he worked at a state theatre as scenographer and created scenography for 38 plays, besides running a private painting school (1930–1933).He then emigrated to England in 1935, and moved to the United States in 1939 where he stayed for the duration of the war. He spent the last ten years of his life in Europe, occasionally returning to New York for theatrical work. He died in New York on November 20, 1957. His memoirs were published posthumously in Russian.

Eugene Lanceray Russian artist

Yevgeny Yevgenyevich Lansere, also spelled Eugene Lanceray, was a Russian graphic artist, painter, sculptor, mosaicist, and illustrator, associated stylistically with Mir iskusstva.

Kaunas City in Lithuania

Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and the historical centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. In the Russian Empire, it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915.

A scenographer or production designer, develops the appearance of a stage design, a TV or movie set, a gaming environment, a trade fair exhibition design or a museum experience exhibition design. The term originated in theater. A scenographer works together with the theater director to make the message come through in the best way they think possible, the director having the leading role and responsibility particularly for dramatic aspects - such as casting, acting, and direction - and the scenographer primarily responsible for the visual aspects or "look" of the production - which often includes scenery or sets, lighting, and costumes, and may include projections or other aspects.

Among his later works are series of masterful and dramatic illustrations, notably for Dostoyevsky's White Nights (1923) and Yuri Olesha's Three Fat Men (1925). Dobuzhinsky contributed sets for theatre productions in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Düsseldorf. During World War II, Dobuzhinsky painted imaginary landscapes of the besieged Leningrad.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

He is interned at the Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery Departement de l'Essonne, Ile-de-France, France; Plot: grave 3428.

Collections

Dobuzhinsky is represented in the following institutions, among others: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; The A. A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, Moscow; The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan; Irbit State Museum of Fine Art, Irbit.

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