Portrait of Nathalija Gontcharova and Mihajl Larionov

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Aleksei Alekseevich Morgunov
Russian, 1884–1935

Portrait of Nathalija Gontcharova and Mihajl Larionov, 1913

Oil on canvas
41 x 53 3/4 in. (104.1 x 136.5 cm)
Mary and Leigh Block Fund for Acquisitions, 1975.666

Aleksei Morgunov became familiar with the work of French and German artists during his 1909–10 travels in Europe. Unlike fellow avant-garde Russian artists Nathalija Gontcharova and Mihajl Larionov, who increasingly incorporated native folk art into their work, Morgunov preferred to follow outside artistic influences after he returned home. This painting references Édouard Manet’s 1882 A Bar at the Folies-Bergére (Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, London) and announces Morgunov’s allegiance to the wider heritage of European modern art. In place of Manet’s iconic barmaid and patron, Morgunov substituted portraits of Gontcharova and Larionov.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, The Avant Garde in Russia, 1910-1930: New Perspectives, July 8-February 15, 1981, no. 235; traveled to Washington, D.C., Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithonian Institution, November 20, 1980-February 15, 1981.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Case for Wine, July11—September 20, 2009, no exhibition catalogue.

Publication History

O. Obolsina, “Zabytye Stranitsy Sovetskogo Iskusstva,” Iskusstvo 3 (Moscow, 1974), pp. 32-37.

“Portrait of Gontcharova and Larinov” Apollo C1: 160 (June 1975), p. 123.

A. James Speyer and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth-Century European Paintings (Chicago, 1980), p. 69, no. 3G3.

Ownership History

The Grosvenor Gallery, London. Sold to the Art Institute, 1975.