Anna Petrovna Ostroumova was born in St Petersburg on May 17, 1871 into the family of a high official who subsequently became a senator; the second part of her name, Lebedev, she added after her marriage. Between 1889 and 1892, Anna studied at the Stieglitz School of Technical Drawing under Prof. Vasily Mathé. In 1892, she entered the Academy of Arts, at first attending the general classes, but later, between 1896 and 1898, taking instructions from
Ilya Repin. While in Paris, in 1898-99, she worked at the studio of the American painter James Whistler. Also in Paris she first took up engraving in earnest, continuing her studies in 1899 and 1900, upon her return to St. Petersburg, at the Academy of Arts under Vasily Mathé. Between 1899 and 1903, she stayed in Italy. After her marriage to the chemist Sergei Lebedev in 1905, they visited France, Holland, Belgium, and Spain. Toward the close of the 1900s, she perfected her skills in the technique of the watercolor under Léon Bakst in St. Petersburg. In 1900 she first exhibited her engraving on the World of Art show, and from then on she was closely connected with this art movement.
Ostroumova is best known for her woodcuts and engravings. The main theme of her art was St. Petersburg, to which she devoted several series: St. Petersburg (1908-10), Pavlovsk (1922-23), and others.
Her impressions of her frequent travels abroad (Italy, France, Spain, Holland) are imprinted in interesting and striking works: woodcuts, engravings and water-colors. A gifted and well-educated painter, Ostroumova was not able to work with oils, to which she was allergic and which caused severe asthma attacks.
The artist spent the Second World War in besieged Leningrad (St. Petersburg), continuing to work.
She died on May 5, 1955 in Leningrad (St. Petersburg).
Russian Painters. Encyclopedic dictionary. St. Petersburg. 1998.