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Masterworks from Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde

From 18 February to 28 May 2017

Lucas Cranach, the Elder
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, ca. 1526-1530
Oil on panel. 88.4 x 58.3 cm
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Mikhail Larionov
The Baker
Oil on canvas
107 x 102 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 637 (1979.5)

More information about this work

The exhibition entitled Jack of Diamonds opened in Moscow in 1910. The name was coined by Larionov, whose works were shown alongside those of several avant-garde Russian artists such as Goncharova, Mashkov and Konchalovski, who shared his aim of blending French Cubism, German Expressionism and indigenous primitive culture. However, this revival of primitive popular roots in art led them to draw inspiration not from distant cultures, as the European avant-garde did, but from local folk art. The installation of the exhibition, with the works crowded together and on several levels, was equally provocative. Indeed, as Bowlt and Misler state, “they turned the exhibition into exhibitionism.”

As Evgenia Petrova explains, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova were the first to allow themselves to scorn the correct manner of representing the world and to incorporate distorted figures and bright colours, which were “traditionally used by wood carvers and the craftsmen who painted distaffs, toys, and the doors and lintels of houses.” Larionov furthermore began to develop an interest in representing certain trades or “prototypes, ” one of which is the Baker in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.

Paloma Alarcó

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