Konstantin Somov is one of the representatives of Russian symbolism. The composition of the artist’s style was largely influenced by his training in the Paris Studio Colorassi (1897-1899), it was then that he mastered the lessons of modernity and French Rococo. The scenes of his paintings resemble the gallant balls and masquerades that were characteristic of the past XVIII century. Modernity in his works is mystically connected with the previous era, the genre scenes of his paintings are reminiscences of the past century, his characters vaguely resemble the puppets of Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard, but unlike his predecessors, the artist gives the images a mystical ghostliness rather than elegant refinement. V. A. Lenyashin rightly noted that the origins of Somov “beyond the past days”, much deeper, more hidden: Botticelli, Watteau, Hoffman[.
Ghostly-transparent eroticism, without which Somov could not think of art, then permeates the irreparably spicy pages of the “Book of the Marquise”, and appears (like a Casanova doll) in the naively defiant and mechanically Frank appearance of Columbine. Continue reading