Marianne von Werefkin (Марианна Владимировна Верёвкина) (1860-1938)

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Self-Portrait, 1908

Marianne von Werefkin was born the daughter of the commander of the Ekaterinaburg Regiment. In 1880, she became a student of Ilya Repin, the most important painter of Russian Realism. Her progress was dealt a setback by a hunting accident in 1888 in which she shot her right hand, the one with which she painted. In 1892, she met Alexej von Jawlensky, who desired to make her his muse, and in 1896, she, Jawlensky, and their servant moved to Munich. For the sake of Jawlensky’s painting, Werefkin interrupted her painting for almost ten years.


Woman in Blue, 1909

She created her first expressionist works in 1907. In these, she followed Paul Gaugin’s and Louis Anquetin’s style of “surface painting”, while also showed the influence of Edvard Munch. In 1909, the Neue Knstlervereinigung Munchen (New Association of Artists in Munich, NKVM) was founded, and it became a forum of exhibitions and programming. In 1911, der Blaue Reiter was founded. It put out an eponymous almanac and held its first exhibition in the winter of 1911-1912. In 1912, von Werefkin and Jawlensky left the NKVM and joined the Blaue Reiter.


The Biergarten, 1907

At the outbreak of the First World War, they immigrated to Switzerland near Geneva. They later moved to Zurich. By 1918, they had separated, and Werefkin moved alone to Ascona on Lago Maggiore. In 1924, she founded the artist group “Großer Bär”, (Big Bear, Ursa Major). In her later years, she painted posters. Her friends, Carmen and Diego Hagmann, protected her from poverty. She was later buried in the Russian graveyard in Ascona.


The Family, 1922


Autumn (school), 1907


Police Sentinel in Vilnius, 1914

The Lonely Path, by Marianne von Werefkin

The Lonely Path, 1910


Portrait of Marianne von Werefkin, 1909


Red City, 1909


The Skaters, 1911

Still wondering about a 19th century Russian or Swiss painting in your family collection? Contact us…it could be by Marianne von Werefkin.