Announcement: A special project “Points of View: Feodor Chaliapin”
A special project on the third floor of the Museum of Russian Impressionism reveals Feodor Chaliapin through the artist’s own eyes, and through those of his contemporaries. The famous singer conquered the audience on both sides of the ocean, and in his spare time from the theatre, he was a devotee of painting, graphics and sculpture. The exhibition will highlight self-portraits, photographs, stage costumes, and works by his artist friends.
With his unusual appearance and extraordinary character, Chaliapin often served as a model for the most talented contemporary artists, who portrayed him in life, and onstage. Visitors will see depictions by Konstantin Korovin and Alexander Golovin, as well as the last portrait painted in the artist’s lifetime by Vasily Shukhaev, and a bronze bust by Paolo Troubetzkoy.
The exhibition also introduces Feodor Chaliapin as a virtuoso of stage make-up and master of reincarnation, who could readily assume and convincingly perform the most diverse roles and stage parts. Famous images of the opera singer as Ivan the Terrible and Boris Godunov, the Demon, Farlaf, Don Basilio and Don Quichotte will be shown in the exposition, along with a striking large-scale portrait by Boris Kustodiev, perhaps the most recognizable image of the artist.
From his association with the theatre, Feodor Chaliapin was always closely connected to the world of art. He took modelling lessons from the sculptor Ilya Ginzburg and tried his hand at painting and drawing, experimenting with various techniques and materials. Archival photographs and audio recordings of his performances will complement this impression of the opera singer and artist.
Works from the collections of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Musical Art, the Russian National Museum of Music, and other public and private collections comprise a multifaceted image of Feodor Chaliapin as a legendary figure of the early 20th century.