Konstantin Kuznetsov (1863–1936) is almost unknown in Russia. The son of a wealthy merchant family in Nizhny Novgorod, he decided at 30 that he would be an artist. In 1896 he left for Paris and never returned to his homeland, although he did not change his citizenship until his last days. Kuznetsov was a constant participant in the major French Exhibition Salons. The way he was established and evolved as an artist was monitored by art critics who appreciated his impressionistic manner, coloristic flair, and emotionality. They found in him a “subtle talent”, “lyricism”, a “special taste and balance within nuances”, “natural greatness”, “charm ... without going into details”, “serious mastery”. “... Whether he is an impressionist, with the post-, or neo-, or pseudo- or whatever prefix, it is obvious that this artist has found himself and a means of expressing his talent,” as one French author summed up the case for Kuznetsov.
The exhibition of Konstantin Kuznetsov at the Tretyakov Gallery is the first comprehensive exposition of his works in Russia to return the artist’s name to the pages of the history of Russian art.