Vasily Shukhaev was born in Moscow in 1887 and began his artistic studies at an early age, initially enrolling at the Stroganov Institute and later studying under Dmitry Kardovsy and Vasily Savinksy at the St. Petersburg Academy. The young artist showed much promise and won a scholarship, enabling him to travel to Italy from 1912-1914. Like his good friend and contemporary Alexander Iacovleff, Shukhaev was a particularly adept portraitist. He and Iacovleff settled in Paris in 1921 and greatly influenced one another's careers, constantly exchanging ideas and technical advice. The present work is quite possibly a portrait of Roberto Montenegro, the Mexican 'Subrealist' painter, illustrator and stage designer.
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