Nicolas Alexandrovitch Tarkhoff Biography

Nicolas Alexandrovitch Tarkhoff




Nicolas Alexandrovitch Tarkhoff (Tarkoff) was a Russian-born Impressionist. Born in Moscow on January 20, 1871 to a merchant family he studied painting and drawing. Tarkhoff was known as the “Moscow Parisian,” because he spent so much of his life in France -- from 1898 until his death in 1930. A member of the World of Art and the Union of Russian Artists, Tarkhoff began drawing at the age of twenty-four. After an unsuccessful attempt to enroll at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, he studied under Konstantin Korovin. At the age of twenty-eight, Tarkhoff made his first visit to Paris, where he studied drawing and began actively working and exhibiting. He moved there permanently in 1899.

In 1906, he held a one-man show at the gallery of Ambroise Vollard, the famous Parisian art dealer who championed all the leading French Impressionists. Sergei Makovsky, Alexander Benois and Kazimir Malevich all wrote about Tarkhoff’s oeuvre. In his lifetime, his works were acquired by such famous connoisseurs of art as Schukin, Troyanovsky, Zeitlin, Diaghilev and Rothschild and artists like André Derain and André Lhote. In 1911 he purchased property in Orsay, France where he lived until his death on June 5th, 1930. He exhibited in the “Salon de Indpendants” in 1917, 11, 14, 19-21 and the “Salon d’Automne” in 1901 and 1913 and again between1923 and 1929.

The posthumous fate of Nicolas Tarkhoff was less illustrious. For many years, his name was excluded from the history of Russian art. The words of Sergei Makovsky, written in 1910 following an exhibition of the artist’s works at the editorial offices of Apollo, still remain relevant today: “Tarkhoff is still little known and poorly appraised in Russia. It is high time that we Russians understood that Tarkhoff is a great and original talent. It is time to bow down to his profoundly veritable, sincere and wonderful creativity.”

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