Still Life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask
Still Life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask

Korzhev, Geli Mikhailovich

1925 -

Still Life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask

Oil on canvas

100 x 100cm




Collection of the artist

Korzhev portrait

Gely Mikhailovich Korzhev-Chuvelev (born 7 July 1925) is a leading Russian painter of the Soviet period. The artist studied at the Moscow State Art School from 1939 to 1944 under V. V. Pochitalov, M.V. Dobroserdov and A.O. Barshch.  From 1944 to 1950 he studied at the Moscow State Art Institute under S.V. Gerasimov and V.V. Pochitalov.  A painter in the Soviet approved style of Socialist Realism he was a founder of the ‘Severe Style,’ continues to be active today, and remains a supporter of Communism. 

Korzhev’s work is well represented in the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum and he remains one of the most of the most influential Russian painters of the second half of the 20th century.

Much revered in Russia for past 30 years the artist now has a growing international reputation and in 2007 had his first international exhibition at the Russian Museum in Minneapolis.  The Tretyakov curators have been trying unsuccessfully to persuade the artist to have a retrospective at their museum in Moscow for many years.


Korzhev with Dimitri Krasnopevtsev, 1952

Still Lifes constitute an important part of this artist’s output and he is well known for his carefully balanced compositions and his ability to successfully render different textures in paint.  Still Life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask is an unusually large example of a Korzhev’s still life and set on a striking blue background. 

The various props such as the metal water jug to the left of the composition and the drinking vessel suspended by a rope from the small table are favorite props of the artist and appear in many of his paintings. 

Although the arrangements of objects on the small wooden side table look like they were casually arranged in fact the artist situates the objects very carefully to create a balanced and harmonious composition.  The height of the water jug on the left of the composition is carefully balanced by having the drinking vessel suspended on a piece of rope slightly to the right of center.  Each object is made of a different metal and the artist has managed to differentiate between the various textures of the various metals. 

Korzhev always had an eye for interesting objects, which he could use in his still life studies, and he collected these from his numerous travels around the extremities of Russia.  He has said that he used his still life painting as practice to work out problems and experiment and he has observed in the rare interviews he has given that he believes that in time his still lifes will come to be considered amongst his most important work.   

Still life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask remained in the collection of the artist, unsigned and not for sale, for many years until it was discovered by a collector who managed to persuade the artist to sell it and then asked the artist to sign it.

Korzhev painting drinking vessel.jpeg  

The artist adding a signature to the painting in his studio in Moscow October 2009

Still life with Metal Jugs, Cauldron and Drinking Flask is a large and important painting by one of Russia’s greatest 20th century artists, a rare work of this scale outside of a museum, and shows all the qualities for which this artist has become famous.





Back to Russian Art