Russian–French painter. Born in Moscow of a Finnish mother and a Danish father, he began a course in architecture there, but in 1908 settled in Paris to study painting under Matisse. However, he was more attracted by the Cubists and exhibited with them at the Salon des Indépendants in 1911. Survage became a minor but individual figure in the movement. He preferred townscapes to the more usual Cubist still-lifes and he had a curious spatial sense that gave his work a suggestion of mystery foreign to the more orthodox Cubist work. In the 1920s he abandoned Cubism and adopted a mild form of Surrealism. He had a gift for large-scale decoration and in 1937 he painted three panels 20 metres long for the Railway Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle, for which he was awarded a gold medal. After the Second World War he began painting abstracts. He was made a member of the Legion of Honour in 1963.
From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.