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Wladimir Georgiewitsch von Bechtejeff

Wladimir Georgiewitsch von Bechtejeff

*  1878 Moskau
† 1971 Moskau

After completing his training at the Military Academy in Moscow, Vladimir Bechtejeff starts to study painting at the Moscow Academy of Arts in 1902. On the advice of Jawlensky, he moves to Munich in same year, where he continues his studies with Heinrich Knirr until 1905. From 1906 to 1909, Bechtejeff lives in Paris. Returning to Munich, he joins the 'Neuen Künstlervereinigung München' in 1909, which he leaves again in 1912 in protest against a self-publicising attack by the group on abstract painting. Bechtejeff's works at this time, with their glowing use of colour, are strongly influenced by Javlensky, whilst his shimmering lines are reminiscent of the works of Late Impressionism. Subsequently, he produces ornamentally flat compositions with an energetic colour rhythm which nonetheless retain figurative references. With the start of the First World War, Bechtejeff's artistic development breaks off abruptly. He returns to Russia and is called up for military service immediately. After this, Bechtejeff works initially in the Moscow Commission for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, and then, in the years 1921/22, as a stage builder, later becoming Design Manager of the Moscow State Circus. In the 20s and 30s, he works mainly as an illustrator. In addition, he devotes himself in his later works to water colours and gouache, in addition to oil painting. Bechtejeff was accorded increasing recognition in his own country after the end of the Stalinist era.