Famous Russian painters in France

10 artists painters of Russian origin recognized in France and around the world (20th century)

1. Vassily Kandinsky (1866 - 1944)

Composition 8 (1923) - Vassily Kandinsky

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

A pioneer of abstract art, Vassily Kandinsky (born in Moscow) revolutionized painting in the first half of the 20th century. Like most Russian artists of the time, he decided to flourish in Europe (Germany then France). Gradually attracted to abstraction, influenced by the evolution of music, he returned to Russia to refine his style between 1914 and 1921. In the Bauhaus school in Germany he developed his idea of integrating geometry and degraded colors in painting, creating a new style and revolutionizing art.


Art price (artprice.com 2019/2020)

N°98/500 TA $21mln Top bid $8mln

2. Kazimir Malevitch (1879-1935)

Suprematist composition with airplane in projection (1915) - Kazimir Malevitch

Kazimir Malevich is the Russian / Ukrainian painter. Born in 1879 in Kiev (Russian Empire).

Malevich's Black Square, created in 1915, has become a symbol of the avant-garde and the manifesto of the new art where resemblance to the real world is not the main criterion. The triumphal procession of suprematism invented by Malevich out of the USSR began in the late 1920s - a major exhibition of the artist was held in Warsaw, then in Berlin. The paintings he himself selected for the exhibition did not return to Russia, and can now be seen at the Stedelik Museum in Amsterdam and MoMA in New York. Malevich remains the most expensive Russian artist - in 2008, his Suprematist Composition was sold at Sotheby's for $ 60 millions dollars.


3. Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Moishe Chagalov, Marc Chagall francized when he moved to Paris in 1910, is a surrealist painter strongly influenced by his Jewish origins. Active during the Russian Revolution, where he ran an art school in the city of Vitebsk, he returned to France after some setbacks. Close to artists such as Blaise Cendrars, Guillaume Apollinaire and Ambroise Vollard, however, he had to flee Europe in 1941 to avoid being rounded up. He spent a few years in the United States before returning to France.

Marc Chagall is famous for his very colorful paintings, full of symbols and poetry.

The Poppies (1949) - Marc Chagall

Sold at Sotheby's for 721,500 EUR

Art price (artprice.com 2019/2020)

N°26/500 CA $89mln, Top bid $7,9mln

4. Nicolas de Staël (1913-1955)

Nicolas de Stael - Baron Nikolai Vladimirovich Staël von Holstein, born in Saint Petersburg in 1913 and died in 1955 in Antibes - is a French painter of Russian origin. Through its evolving abstract style, which he himself described as "continuous evolution", it remains an enigma for art historians. He committed suicide at age 41 in Antibes.

One of the most expensive painters in the world and the most expensive among Russians after Mark Chagall according to "The Art Market in 2019" published by artprice.com in 2020.

Top bid $ 22mln with total sales of $ 55.9M in 2019.

Famous artworks:

The Grand Concert: The Orchestra

The Concert (1955) - Nicolas de Staël

Oil on canvas 3,5x6 meters (Musée Picasso d'Antibes)

5. Serge Poliakoff (1900-1969)

Composition (1954) - Serge Poliakoff

Serge Poliakoff (Sergiei Poliakov) is a French painter of Russian origin belonging to the new School of Paris.

Passing through Sofia, Belgrade, Vienna and Berlin, Poliakoff settled in Paris in 1923 where he continued to perform in Russian cabarets. In 1929, he enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His paintings remained academic until his discovery in London - where he stayed from 1935 to 1937 - of abstract art and the luminosity of the colors of Egyptian sarcophagi. He soon became friends with Kandinsky, Sonia Delaunay and Robert Delaunay, Otto Freundlich and Jean-Michel Coulon.

In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent designed a Poliakoff dress and a Mondrian dress.

He encouraged Arman to paint.

Art price (art-rice.com 2019/2020)