SEROV Valentin Alexandrovich

1865 — 1911

Eminent Russian painter and graphic artist.

He was the son of composer Alexander Serov and piano player Valentina Serova. In 1873-1874, after his father’s death, lived with his mother in Munich where he took drawing lessons from R. Kepping. In 1874-1875, he studied under Ilya Repin in Paris. Returning to Russia in 1875, he resided in St. Petersburg. During his stay in Kiev (1876-1877), he studied at Nikolay Murashko’s Drawing School. From 1878, he studied under Ilya Repin and later under Pavel Chistyakov with the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Serov’s first notable works (Devochka s persikamee [“A Girl with Peaches”], 1887, and Devochka Osveschennaya Solntsem [“A Girl Lit by the Sun”], 1888, – both are at the Tretyakov Gallery) propelled him to the ranks of Russia’s top artists. He regularly exhibited his works at the most important Russian art shows both in Russia and abroad. In 1899, he joined the Mir iskusstva [“The World of Art”] Society. He taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1898-1909). He worked in book graphics and illustrated anniversary editions of books by Mikhail Lermontov (1891) and Alexander Pushkin (1899) as well as Nikolay Kutepov’s Tsarskaya I imperatorskaya okhota na Rusee [“Tsars’ and Emperors’ Hunting in Rus”] (early 1900s), Ivan Krylov’s Basnee [“Fables”] (1896-1911). He showed his works at Russian art exhibitions in Paris and Berlin (1906). He created play bills and stage sets for Dyagilev’s Saisons Russes [“Russian Seasons”] in Paris and London (1909 and 1911).

Serov worked only four years in engraving (1896-1899) but his contribution to Russian book graphics proved to be profound, his works gaining an important place in the development of Russian prints. His first pieces made at Math?’s studio are either lost or unidentified. Valentin Serov’s etchings cover a broad range of subjects and reflect, overall, the strong sides of his talent – portraits (Mathe’s portrait, “Fyodor Chaliapin as Ivan the Terrible” and a self-portrait), allegorical animal paintings (illustrations to Ivan Krylov’s Basnee [“Fables”], landscapes (Domotkanovo landscapes). In 1980, there was an exhibition of the artist’s etchings at the State Russian Museum.



All artist`s prints
  • Portrait of the engraver Vasily MathePortrait of the engraver Vasily Mathe
    1899 ã.
  • Portrait of Anna Ostroumova-LebedevaPortrait of Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva
    1899 ã.
  • Portrait of the composer Aleõander GlazunovPortrait of the composer Aleõander Glazunov
    1899 ã.
  • The Wolf and the ShepherdsThe Wolf and the Shepherds
    1900 (?) ã.