*1881 in Tiraspol, Moldova
†1964 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
Mikhail Larionov was a Russian avant-garde artist, was a founding member of the Jack of Diamonds, which was the first radical group organizing exhibitions in Moscow, and also a member of Der Blaue Reiter. He was a renaissance man; at different times, he was a painter, stage designer, printmaker, illustrator, draughtsman, and writer. He was a leader of the Russian avant-garde before WWI but came to prominence in the West through his work for Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. In 1912 he founded two artistic movements: Neo-primitivism and Rayonism, which were an offshoot of the artist's Fauvist and Expressionist practice. During the 1920s he played a significant role within the Ecole de Paris and continued to live and work in France until his death. He was also the life-long partner of another important avant-garde painter, Natalia Goncharova. His painting created a bridge between French primitivism and early 20th-century Russian visual culture. Larionov’s works can be found in international museums, including Kettle's Yard, Cambridge; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.