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Marianne von Werefkin

Russian-German-Swiss artist/ Expressionist painter


Born  Sept 10, 1860

in Tula, Russia

Maiden Name: Marianna Wladimirowna Werewkina

Died Feb 6, 1938

in Ascona, Switzerland


Biographical Detail: 

Grew up in a wealthy family, mostly spent travelling across Russia due to her fathers assignments to different locations

1874     Started taking private drawing lessons from the age of 14

1880     Started studying with the famous Russian Realist painter Ilya Repin

1896     Moved to Munich, studied art history

1897     Formed the St. Lukas Brotherhood, an informal artists’ salon; Wassily Kandinsky amongst its members

1903     Werefkin and her partner Jawlensky spent a year and a half in Paris and the south of France

1905     Returned to Munich, Germany

1908     Moved south of Munich to the small Bavarian town of Murnau am Staffelsee; amongst the painters Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky

1909     The four “Murnau artists” as well as Franz Marc and August Macke founded the Neue Künstlervereinigung München

1913     Werefkin joined the “Der Blaue Reiter” group, becoming known as “Blue Riders’ woman rider”

1914     Outbreak of WW1: Werefkin emigrated to neutral Switzerland; first close to Geneva, then Zurich and later Ascona

1924     Founded an artists’ group names The Big Bear or Ursa Major

Artistic Work: Paintings, multiple self-portraits   

Selection of Works: 

Lettres à un Inconnu (‘Letters to a Stranger’)(1902)(journal)

Self-Portrait in a Sailor’s Blouse (1893)

Portrait of Helene (1909)

Return Home (1909)

Sources:, Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website),  Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website), Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website)

Artist’s Estate:

Fondazione Marianne Werefkin at the Museo Comunale d’arte moderna, Ascona (Link to Website)

Story Map of the Artist’s Life: 

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