Dates: December 16, 2022 – February 26, 2023

Venue: Exhibition hall of the Muranovo Estate Memorial Museum-Reserve (Moscow Region, Pushkin city district, the village of Muranovo)

The Muranovo Estate Memorial Museum-Reserve in partnership with the Research Museum under the Russian Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of the eminent Russian artist, Academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts Boris Kustodiev. Entitled “Merchant Russia” it features the master’s 17 graphic works including watercolors from the Russian Characters series, as well as pencil sketches on the topic of peasant, provincial, petty-bourgeois and merchant life from the collection of the Research Museum.

“… love for life, joy and cheerfulness, love for our “Russian”  - this was the only “theme” of my paintings”, - wrote Boris Kustodiev. The interest in the national life has been a distinguished feature of the artist’s work for all his life. He has created several series of canvases dedicated to peasant and petty-bourgeois life – fairs, village feasts, Pancake Day, carnivals, winter holidays. According to the artist’s words, his favorite season was winter with its frosty, fabulous days with frost and ringing air, the creaking of runners on crisp snow and crimson sun in the fog.

The centerpieces of the exhibition are watercolors from the Russian Characters  series resulted from the last stage of Kustodiev’s creative work. Being confined to a wheelchair he painted Russian types dear to his heart until his last days. The series was intended for Isaak Brodsky’s and Evgeny Zamyatin’s publication “Russia. Russian Characters of Boris Kustodiev”. With gentle humor Kustodiev depicts imposing merchants and merchant’s wives, respectable tradesmen and brisk innkeepers, haggard nuns, cunny priests and others demonstrating us his art of high professional level.

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