KOROVIN, Konstantin Alekseyevich
(b. 1861, Moscow, d. 1939, Paris)
Russian painter, brother of the painter Sergey Korovin (1858-1908). In 1874 he entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied under the landscape painters Aleksey Savrasov and Vasily Polenov. Through Polenov, Korovin met the art patron Savva Mamontov and became a leading member of the Abramtsevo colony, which comprised the most innovative painters and stage designers of the period. His early landscapes continued the plein-air explorations of his teachers.
Travelling extensively in Europe in the 1880s and 1890s, he was influenced by French Impressionism. In the Boat (1887/8; Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery) recalls the tilted perspective and bright colours of Edouard Manet's Boating (1874; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Typical examples of Korovin's late Impressionist style are Café in Paris (1892-94), Café in Yalta (1905) and Paris by Night; Boulevard des Capucines (1906; all Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery). His designs for Mamontov's Private Opera in Moscow in the 1880s and 1890s were unprecedented in Russia in their free use of colour and their departure from realism.
In 1900, Korovin designed the decoration for the Central Asia Section of the Paris World Fair, awarded with the Legion of Honour. In 1909-13 he taught at the Moscow art school. In 1924 he emigrated to Paris supported by Shalyapin, the famous opera singer and became a stage designer. He also became famous as a book illustrator.