Mikhail Larionov Soldier in a Wood About 1911 © UPRAVIS and DACS, London 2021


Born 1881
Died 1964
Nationalities Russian
Birth place Tiraspol
Death place Fontenay-aux-Roses

Larionov was born near Odessa and studied art in Moscow, where he met his lifelong companion Natalia Goncharova. As a leading figure in the Russian avant-garde, Larionov helped develop the Russian ‘Neo-Primitive’ movement. He first visited France in 1906 and was influenced by the Fauvist artists, combining elements of Fauvism with Russian artistic forms such as icon painting, folk art and woodblock prints to produce a naïve style. After being invalided out of the army in 1915, Larionov lived in Switzerland before finally settling permanently in Paris in 1919.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


Russian avant-garde movement invented by the artists Mikhail Larionov and his partner Natalia Goncharova. Influenced by Cubism and Futurism, the style was characterised by dynamically intersecting lines or rays.


The deliberate adoption by trained artist of the styles and techniques of those operating outside mainstream art practice.

Folk Art

Folk art is a broad term encompassing a variety of styles, referring generally to the fine and applied arts of untrained artists working outside the academic mainstream. The concept of Folk Art originates from the nineteenth century, carrying a certain nostalgia for pre-industrialised society, and was integrated into avant-garde styles by many artists at the turn of the century.