Goncharova, Natalya

▪ Russian artist
Russian  Nataliya Sergeyevna Goncharova, Goncharova  also spelled  Gontcharova 
born June 4, 1881, Ladyzhino, Russia
died Oct. 17, 1962, Paris

      innovative Russian painter, sculptor, and stage designer who was important as a founder, with Mikhail Larionov, of Rayonism (c. 1910) and as a designer for the Ballets Russes.

      The daughter of an aristocratic family, Goncharova studied painting and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow. After an early preoccupation with sculpture, in 1904 she began seriously to paint, experimenting with the Cubist and Futurist styles during the next few years. It was as a synthesis of these movements that Goncharova and Larionov, whom she later married, conceived of Rayonism, which sought to portray in two dimensions the spatial qualities of reflected light. In 1912 Goncharova took part in Roger Fry's Postimpressionist exhibition in London and in the second exhibition of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in Munich.

      Goncharova earned a high reputation in Moscow for her scenery and costume designs for the Kamerny Theatre. When she and Larionov moved to Paris in 1914 she became a designer for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, her vibrant, Byzantine-inspired designs for the ballet “Coq d'Or” being especially notable.

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Universalium. 2010.

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