House-Museum of Pavel V. Kuznetsov
The former home of the Russian pictorial Symbolist painter, Pavel Kuznetsov (1878-1968).
This wooden Saratov house was the childhood home of Pavel Kuznetsov, the Russian painter and graphic artist. Here he spent his childhood and teenage years, including five years at the local Bogolyubov School of Art (1891-6) before leaving to study at the Moscow School of Painting (1897-1904) and, finally, in Paris (1905). Kuznetsov later became a founder member of the Russian 'Blue Rose' association. Active in Moscow between 1904-1908, this group of sixteen Symbolist artists drew inspiration from Viktor Borisov-Musatov, and sought to transcend 'mundane reality' in their artworks in favour of communication with the 'beyond' or the 'absolute'. The resultant works followed a subdued colour scheme and a series of recurring symbols, such as women, babies, fountains and rainbows.
However, Kuznetsov's work always eluded precise definition, focusing on oblique, indefinable subjects with ambiguous titles. Later in his career, he would develop his interest in the decorative qualities of art through murals and interior decoration schemes for Russian patrons such as the extravagant businessman Nikolai Pavlovich Ryabushinsky (1876-1951), whose villa 'The Black Swan' Kuznetsov decorated shortly after the exhibition of the 'Blue Rose' group. Kuznetsov's childhood home opened as a museum in 2000, and today hosts a rotating programme of temporary exhibitions, primarily focusing on the works of Kuznetsov and his contemporaries.