Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, “Archon”, 1904


(Khvalynsk, 1878 – 1939, Leningard)



Oil on canvas, 54 x 37.5 cm

Signed, dated and inscribed in cyrillic on the reverse: “Демон/ 54 Х 37,5 1904./ Петров-Водкин”


Kunstberatung Zürich AG presents an early masterpiece by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin “Archon” (or other title is “Demon”).

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was a genius of the 20th century, and his impact on culture is commensurate to that of such great masters as Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky. He created his own original theory of painting, including a system of spherical perspective.

In his early childhood, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin took some lessons from a couple of icon painters. After he studied at various private art schools. He studied in Saint-Petersbourg at the Baron Stieglits School, then at the Moscow School of painting, Sculpture and Architecture with Valentin Serov, Isaak Levitan, and Konstantin Korovin. In 1901 he moved to Munich to take classes with Anton Ažbe. In the 1900s, Petrov-Vodkin was influenced by symbolism and modernity. He was creating archetypal images, embodying in his artwork his inner experiences and looking for “eternal essences” of being.

According to Petrov-Vodkin’s biography, from February 1903 to June 1904 the artist was working on the Madonna and Child maiolica for the facade of the church which belonged to Orthopedic Clinical Institute in Saint Petersburg. Although the content of Archon is opposite to that of Madonna and Child, its style of painting is very similar. Both works also seem to be influenced by Mikhail Vrubel’s art. Monumentalism, making space one of the painting’s narrators, rhythmics of forms and rich local colour as well fantasy and symbolism – these are the main features of Petrov-Vodkin, one of the most prominent and original Russian philosophic artists of the first decades of the 20th century.

Petrov-Vodkin’s works are held in several major art museums including the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and in private collections all over the world as well.

Condition report:

The artwork is in excellent condition.


Private collection, Saint-Petersburg until 1968;

Private collection, Estonia;

Important private collection, Zürich, Switzerland


Kunstberatung Zurich. Old masters and Modern art catalogue: private treasures, Zurich, 2019



PAM – Salon Point Art Monaco – 2014

PAM – Salon Point Art Monaco – 2015

BRAFA – the Brussels Art Fair – 2015

Kandinsky and his contemporaries. Exhibition of the Russian avant-garde paintings. On the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Wassily Kandinsky. December, 16 2016 – December, 31 2017, “Art Center. Moscow”, Moscow, Russia


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