Natalia Goncharova was highly respected for her costume design and scenery
for the Kamerny Theatre in Moscow. She was also called a leader of the
Natalia was born on June 21, 1881 in Nagaevo, Russia. Early in 1892,
Natalia moved to Moscow where she would attend school. This is where she
met Mikhail Larionov who inspired her to begin painting. In 1901, Natalia
enrolled at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture where
she would study sculpture and painting.
Natalia took part in an exhibition of Russian artists that was organized by
Sergei Diaghilev in 1906. It was held at the Salon d'automne in Paris,
France. Natalia's early artwork clearly shows the influence of
Impressionism and Russian folklore.
Natalia took part in several important art exhibitions in Moscow. She
exhibited her works such as:
Although most of Natalia's early artworks were done in Cubist and Primitivist styles, later in her career she would adopt a Cubo-Futurist approach around
She was represented at the Galerie Hans Goltz in Munich, at the second Blaue Reiter exhibition in 1912. Also, in that same year, at the Der Sturm
Gallery in Berlin, during the Erste Deutsche Herbstsalon exhibition, Natalia's
works were very successful and brought her great acclaim.
In 1913, Natalia and Mikhail began to collaborate with Sergi Diaghilev for
his Ballets Russes. This lasted until Sergi's death in 1929.
In 1917, Natalia and Mikhail permanently settled in Paris and began to
exhibit their artwork in galleries such as The Galerie Sauvage, where they held
an exhibition called L'art Decoratif Theatral Moderne.
Natalia had a great number of exhibitions during the 1920s and 1930s and
would often share exhibitions with Mikhail throughout Europe, Japan, the United
States and several other countries.
Natalia began to focus her creative energy on stage decoration and illustrating books. She would design costumes, scenery, backdrops, and
drop curtains for international presentations of ballet. She continued
this well into her 70s.
In 1938, at the age of 57, Natalia was granted citizenship in France.
Mikhail and Natalia were married in 1955. After being life-long friends,
they were finally man and wife. Mikhail suffered from a massive stroke in
1950 and Natalia's health started to deteriorate.
In 1956, at the Galerie de L'institut in Paris, Natalia was given a
retrospective of her artworks.
The last few years of Natalia's life were spent in severe poverty and she
passed away on October 17, 1962 at her home in Paris.