Maria Yakunchikova

Russia / 1870 - 1902 / wikipedia /
Graphic artist, painter and applied art master. She was one of the first female artists in the Russian Silver Age. Her father was a large factory owner and art patron. Most of her life was spent in France.

Maria Vasilievna Yakunchikova-Weber (Russian: Мария Васильевна Якунчикова-Вебер) was a Russian painter, graphic artist, and embroiderer.

Yakunchikova suffered from tuberculosis, which had been diagnosed in the late 1880s.

....Yakunchikova can easily be considered the first Russian artist of her generation to organically meld into the European context; her cityscapes of Versailles and Paris are considerably earlier than the more famous ones of Alexandre Benois. Further, her cityscape Paris: Avenue Wagram and the Arc de Triomphe at Dusk (1892) romantically depicts the city under artificial lights, and anticipates Konstantin Korovin's famous cycle of paintings of the city by night and day.

In 1892 she began to create colored etchings. She also started off with the technique of burning of wooden panels, which could then be illuminated by oil paint.

....Alexandre Benois wrote of Yakunchikova in 1901: "Yakunchikova is not only a great poet but also a great master. In Russia she is still insufficiently appreciated, and yet there are few contemporary artists - not only here, but also in the West - who wield such a fresh, noble palette, with such broad and vigorous skill."

....Sergei Diaghilev wrote her obituary in the magazine Mir Isskustva:

"Yakunchikova's time was all too short for all the things she might have done. But in all that she had time to do, harassed by baby-napkins and the bustle of Paris, she revealed the depths of a lovely talent, a profound feeling and affection for our Russian forests, oh, so remote, 'those little pines and firs', which for her were instinct with religious feeling, and which she longed for all her life." (
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Suzan Hamer


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