Konstantin Somov Константин Андреевич Сомов (1869-1939)

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We perform Konstantin Somov art authentication, appraisal, certificates of authenticity (COA), analysis, research, scientific tests, full art authentications. We will help you sell your Konstantin Somov or we will sell it for you.

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Self-Portrait 1898

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Portrait of N.F. Ober 1896

Konstantin Somov was a Russian Symbolist painter born in St. Petersburg. He was born into an art driven family, and was related to Andrei Ivanovich Somov, the then curator of the famed Hermitage Museum. His family was often visited by the most famous painters in Russia, and also had a vast collection of watercolors, etchings and paintings which inspired the young Somov. Growing up, he learned to sing, play piano, and of course, paint.

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Promenade after Rain 1896

Somov entered The Imperial Academy of Arts from 1888-1897 and studied under Ilya Repin. Though Somov felt that his first few years at the academy were basically pointless, he was dedicated to his studies just the same. These early academy paintings were mainly of portraits and landscapes and were inspired by the works of Fragonard and Watteau. As a result, much of Somov’s work is completed in gouache and watercolors.

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Lady by the Pool 1896

Towards the end of his studies, Somov began to switch gears from Repin-inspired compositions to paintings of men and women in 18th century dress. These paintings were far from the Realist work that his contemporaries were producing at the time. Full of poetry and elegance, these paintings created towards the end of the 19th century were the precursors to his Symbolist pieces. Some art critics have said that his work as a student was not that of a student, but that of a competent artist who has already secured a style of his own.

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Evening 1900

Somov left Russia for Paris in 1897 where he congregated with fellow Russian artists such as Benois, Lanceray and Ober. He frequented the Academie Colarossi while in Paris, and returned to St. Petersburg after only being there for a year. Once back in St. Petersburg, Somov became a member of the World of Art Society, with which he would exhibit his work around the globe.

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Lady in Blue

From 1906-1910, Somov created a number of portraits of Russian artists and poets for books and magazines. This was followed by a series of rococo-style harlequins in 1910 and also a number of illustrations for poems by Alexander Blok.

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Landscape with Pavilion

In 1918, Somov became a professor at Art College. After the Russian Revolution, he immigrated The United States in 1923, though he only stayed for a year. Somov felt that his art was not well received in the states, though he was extremely popular in Germany. After his brief stay in The United States, Somov moved to France where he lived out the rest of his life painting mainly portraits.

Today, Somov’s work is housed all over the world, and has fetched upwards of $5 million dollars auction. Still wondering about a Russian Symbolist painting in your family estate? Contact us…it could be by Konstantin Somov.