Natalia GONCHAROVA, Self-portrait in a chair


(Tula, 1881 - 1962, Paris)

Self-portrait in a chair


Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 cm

Signed on back: "N. Goncharova 1904"


Natalia Goncharova (Ната́лья Серге́евна Гончаро́ва) was a pivotal figure in the vibrant Russian avant-garde movement of the early 20th century. Born in 1881 in Nagaevo, Russia, her artistic journey spanned painting, costume and set design, illustration, and writing.

Goncharova’s artistic inclinations emerged during her studies at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Here, she encountered the burgeoning avant-garde scene and forged a lifelong partnership with fellow artist Mikhail Larionov. Together, they co-founded several radical art groups, including the Jack of Diamonds (1909-1911) and Donkey’s Tail (1912-1913). These groups challenged artistic conventions and championed experimentation.

Goncharova’s artistic style evolved through various movements. She experimented with Neo-Primitivism, Cubism, and Futurism, leaving a lasting mark on each. However, her most significant contribution was the co-creation of Rayonism alongside Larionov in 1912. This revolutionary style emphasized the dynamism of light and its radiating lines, creating a sense of movement and fragmentation on the canvas.
Beyond painting, Goncharova excelled in the realm of theatrical design. Her vibrant costumes and sets for ballets staged by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes captivated Parisian audiences in the 1910s. This international exposure solidified her reputation as a leading avant-garde artist.

“Self-portrait in chair” is one of the earliest portrait by Natalia Goncharova, dated back to 1904. “My path is to the original source of all the arts—the East,”- what Natlia Goncharova had in mind was the art of vsechestvo (everythingness). The essence of this new art lay in an omnivorous embrace of ancient, modern, Eastern, and Western styles and in the conviction that Cubism was not Pablo Picasso and George Braque’s invention but rather something anticipated by ancient Scythian sculpture.


Art gallery D’eendt, Will Hoogstraate, Amsterdam, n. 25 Natalia Goncharova ‘Femme dans une fauteuil’ – 1904 – 48×48 oileverf;

Galleria d’arte moderna l’Approdo, Turin, n. 1201;

Private collection of Arturo Bottello, Italy;

Impressionist sale 8272 – Mr. Bottello lot n. 235 – 5/12/1984;

Private collection, Italy;

Private collection, Switzerland


Galleria d’arte moderna L’Approdo, Maestri Stranieri, ‘Femme dans une fauteuil’, 1904 di N. Goncharova, pag. 40, Turin 1968;

Galleria d’arte moderna Turin, Blaue reiter – Il cavaliere azzurro, ‘Femme dans une fauteuil 1904’, Natalia Goncharova, pag. 141, Turin 1971;

Catalogo Internazionale Bolaffi n.1, ‘Femme dans une fauteuil 1904’, Natalia Goncharova, pag. 59, Turin 1972;

La Stampa, p. 24, Turin 15/10/1995;

Palazzo Bricherasio Turin (22/09/95 – 7/01/96), Kandinsky, Malevich e le Avanguardie Russe (1905 – 1925), “Femme dans une fauteuil 1904”, di Natalia Goncharova, pag. 76, Exhibition in Turin from 22/09/95 to 7/01/96;

Regione Piemonte – Palazzo Cavour 22/9, Arte in due, “Femme dans une fauteuil 1904″, di Natalia Goncharova, pag. 37, Turin 8/06/2003;

Galerie Lucie Weill & Seligmann, Paris 23 June 30 July 2011 “Natalia Gontcharova Mikail Larionov ouevre rayonnistes” (reproduced in the catalogue)


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

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