Knave of Diamonds

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An artists' association, formed in Moscow in 1910, that was for a time the most important of the avant-garde groups in Russia. There are various explanations of how the name came about, one being that it refers to the diamond markings on the uniforms of civil prisoners; the artists involved thus wanted to indicate that they were revolutionaries. In 1911 Goncharova and Larionov broke away from the group, accusing it of being too dominated by the ‘cheap orientalism of the Paris School’ and the ‘Munich decadence’, and founded their own association, the Donkey's Tail, to promote an art based on native inspiration. The Knave of Diamonds held regular exhibitions up to 1917, then broke up.

Subjects: Art.

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