Olga's Gallery

Constantin Somov

Portrait of Alexander Blok.

1907. For magazine "Golden Fleece" (1908, N 1). Pencil, crayons, gouache on paper. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Read Note.

Constantin Somov. Portrait of Alexander Blok.

Blok, Alexander Alexandrovich (1880-1921) Russian poet, born in St. Petersburg. In 1903 he married the daughter of the famous chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev. His first book of poems, Songs about the Lady Fair (1904), was influenced by mysticism of the philosopher Vladimir Soloviev, a Tolstoyan vision of reality beyond appearances, where truth is embodied in ideal womanhood. In Noctural Hours (1911) the ideal had given way to the realism of city squalor. He welcomed the 1917 revolution and in 1918 wrote two poems, The Twelve (translated into English in 1920), a symbolic sequence of revolutionary themes, and The Scythians, an ode, inciting Europe to follow Russia. He was soon disillusioned, however, and suffered greatly in the hard times, which followed the revolution. Other works include the romantic verse drama The Rose and the Cross