VICTOR STEPHANOVIC PODGOURSKY (1893-1969)
Portrait of a Chinese girl with grasshoppers and a toad made of bamboo on strings
Signed and dated V.Podgoursky, 1939 lower left
Gouache on brown paper, 53 x 44 cm
Podgoursky grew up in Siberia where his grandfather had been banished for life.
He followed an art course in Vladivostok and in 1912 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he graduated in 1918. He returned to Vladivostok but in 1920 had to flee the country to avoid arrest. He settled in Shanghai. In the twenties and thirties, Shanghai became a one-in-a-kind centre of Russian artistic emigration. The Russian Dramatic Theatre and the Russian Ballet School were founded there in the thirties and the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra and Opera Group were primarily staffed by Russian artistic emigrés.
Podgoursky became professor of the College of Fine Arts in Shanghai. One of his pupils was the famous Georgette Chen whose work was bought, among others, by Musée de Jeu de Paume in Paris. Podgoursky had several personal exhibitions and participated regularly in exhibitions of Russian expatriate artists in Shanghai. His paintings of every day live in Shanghai were willingly bought by museums in Italy, France and England.
Together with his wife and son, Podgoursky returned to Tashkent in the USSR in 1947 where he taught at the Kazan Art School. He died in Tashkent in 1969.