Background: Mariya (Konstaninovna) Bashkirtseva was born on November 24th, 1858 in Ukraine. She was an Ukrainian painter and sculptor.
Education: She settled in Paris in 1877 and enrolled at the Acad?mie Julian under Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Bastien-Lepage
Achievements: She exhibited at the Salon in 1880, 1881, 1883 and 1884, using the pseudonyms Marie Constantin Russ and Andrei. The Self-portrait with Palette and Harp (c. 1883; Nice, Mus. B.-A.) draws attention to the artist’s musical as well as painterly ambitions. Her subsequent works show a move away from dark tonality to a lighter palette, influenced by Bastien-Lepage.
The ungainly pose of the peasant woman sitting asleep on the ground as well as the overall composition and green colour scheme in the large-format Spring (or April ) (1884; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) are reminiscent of works by Bastien-Lepage. In Paris, Bashkirtseva also became involved in the French feminist movement and pseudonymously published an article on the rights of women. She also produced sculptures, such as the nude Nausicaa (1882; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay).
Her canvas The Meeting (1884; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), shown at the Salon in 1884, was purchased by the French government. She achieved fame after her early death from tuberculosis chiefly through the extensively edited version of her journal, first published in 1887, in which she gave detailed expression to her creative motivation, psychological condition and to her view of the artistic world around her. Most of Bashkirtseva’s paintings were destroyed during World War II, although reproductions exist as well as the few surviving originals.