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Caravaggio and the Painters of the North

From 21 June to 18 September 2016

The Musicians, ca. 1594-95
Oil on canvas. 92.1 x 118.4 cm
The Metropolitan Museum, New York, Rogers Fund
© 2015. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence

Biography and Works

Vladimir Burliuk
Chernianka, 1886-Thessaloniki, 1917


The Ukrainian painter Vladimir Burliuk belonged to an artistically inclined family. Both he and his five siblings displayed a talent for art or literature, as a result of which Vladimir’s career was closely linked to that of the rest of his family, particularly that of his eldest brother David. They both attended art school in Kazan and Odessa and in 1903 Vladimir left for Munich, where they studied under Anton AÏbéWhile. in the city, Vladimir made important acquaintances, particularly Wassily Kandinsky, and took part in the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon in 1913

On. returning to Russia, Burliuk came into contact with the art groups that were breathing new life into the country and was involved in organising the Jack of Diamonds and Union of Youth exhibitions, in which he also showed his work. Despite being abreast of the latest trends on the European art scene, Vladimir preferred to present himself as a savage with no cultural background. His works from this period were centred on depicting popular scenes or figures in a style devoid of artifice that pursued a return to the popular and was formally linked to Neo-Primitivism

. In 1911 his painting moved closer to various avant-garde movements, especially Cubism. His illustrations for Futurist publications such as Sadok Sudey attest to this change.

Burliuk enlisted in the Russian army in 1915 and died in Thessaloniki during the First World War in 1917

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