Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev
Kustodiev (7 March 1878 – 28 May 1927) was a Russian and Soviet painter. His father was a professor at the local theological seminary who died when Kustodiev was still young, leaving his mother alone to support him. They rented a small part of a rich merchant’s home during his childhood, an experience that had a pronounced impact on his world outlook. At age 18, Kusodiev attended the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. There he benefitted from the favourable opinion of his tutor, Ilya Repin, for whom he provided assistance on commissioned works. Between 1904 and 1909 he travelled throughout Europe, before returning to Russia and being elected into the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1916, after contracting tuberculosis, Kusodiev became a paraplegic. His ability to remain joyful and lively despite his paralysis amazed others. His colourful paintings and joyful genre pieces do not reveal his physical suffering, and on the contrary give the impression of a carefree and cheerful life.
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