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Boris Anrep

(1883—1969) mosaicist


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(b St Petersburg, 28 Sept. 1883; d London, 7 June 1969).

Russian-born mosaicist and painter, active mainly in England. He organized the Russian section of Roger Fry's second Post-Impressionist exhibition in 1912 and after the First World War, in which he served in the Russian army, he settled in London, although he lived for a time in Paris after his wife left him for Fry in 1926. Anrep was deeply interested in Byzantine art and came to specialize in mosaic pavements, the best-known examples being in Tate Britain, representing William Blake's Proverbs (1923), and the National Gallery—four floors on and around the main staircase, executed between 1926 and 1952. The subjects are ‘The Awakening of the Muses’, ‘The Modern Virtues’, ‘The Labours of Life’, and ‘The Pleasures of Life’; portraits of many well-known contemporaries are incorporated in them, for example the philosopher Bertrand Russell representing Lucidity and the film actress Greta Garbo as Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. They were paid for by Samuel Courtauld and other benefactors.

Subjects: Art.


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