Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was born in Khvalynsk, in 1878. Very young he becomes fascinated with Russian icons. He takes drawing and painting lessons with Fedor Burov in Samara (1894-1895). He enrolls at Baron Stieglitz’s Central School of Technical Drawing in Saint Petersburg (1895-1897), then studies at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow (1897-1904) under Korovin and Serov. In Munich (1901), he works at Azbe studio, in Paris (1905-1908) he goes to Colarossi’s studio. Although his early works are influenced by French and German Symbolism, very soon he turns to his roots and discovers the charm of Russia and the Russians. He paints subjects such as motherhood, youth and people at work. His three colors’ palette of red-yellow-blue is his trade mark. His masterpiece “Bathing of the Red Horse” (1912), both mysterious and powerful, is considered as an introduction to a new era.
He participates in: The Golden Fleece (1900s), The Union of Russian Artists (1909-1910), Jar-Tsvet (1924), and AKhRR (1928). He is member of The World of Art group and Four Arts. He invents mysterious “biographical” adventures. He visits Munich, Leipzig, Warsaw and Prague (1921). He visits Italy and Turkey (1925). He works in North Africa, Central Asia and France. In 1918-1919, he creates a series of still lives and paints set decorations for the theater. He experiments with panoramic effects, color, perspective and composition. In the late 1920s due to tuberculosis he turns back to literature and writes three autobiographies. Petrov-Vodkin dies in Leningrad in 1939.