Russian painter and designer, born in Moscow. Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture 1892-8 and in Serov's studio 1898-1900. Visited Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France for further study; was influenced by the Impressionists' treatment of light and colour, which he applied to the representation of Russian townscapes and village scenes. Taught in his own studio 1900-17, and at the Academy of Arts. Exhibited with the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva), the Union of Russian Artists and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. Designed sets and costumes for Diaghilev's Paris production of Boris Godunov 1912 and many other theatrical productions. People's Artist of the USSR. His later work became somewhat social realist, with paintings of peasant girls, scenes from Soviet Revolutionary history, etc. Died in Moscow.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.766