Home > LLLL. Portraits, Unknown Artists > Zinaida Serebriakova

Zinaida Serebriakova

File:Serebryakova SefPortrait.jpg

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Zenaida Serebriakova (1884-1967), Russian aristocrat through and through,  was nonetheless a revolutionary to the bone. One of Russia’s first woman visual artists of note, she was born into a refined family–the Benois, whose founding ancestor, Louis Jules Benois, was a confectioner (pardon the pun)  who settled in Russia after fleeing the French Revolution.

Serebriakova received thorough instruction in painting, studying under Osip Braz, spending time in Italy, and finishing with a period at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. She came to prominence when the above self-portrait, At the Dressing Table, was exhibited in 1909. A trip to Paris in 1924 to paint a large mural turned into decades-long exile when she was unable to return home. Her two younger children  joined her soon thereafter, but the Soviet government prevented her from resuming contact with her older children until the late 1950s.

Serebriakova traveled a great deal, especially in Africa, painting Arab and African women in native dress. Throughout her career, she remained dedicated to capturing the beauty of the world.

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Self-Portrait: At the Dressing TableZenaida Serebriakova. 1909. (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow); WikCmns; Public Domain.

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