Yakulov Georgy. 1884-1928
Yakulov Georgy. 1884-1928
Georgy Bogdanovich Yakulov — avant-garde painter and scenographer. Yakulov was born in Tiflis. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1901–1903). In 1903, he entered military service. During the service he was strongly influenced by Oriental art and nature. A mixture of Eastern and Western styles became a feature of his art. In 1905–1913, Yakulov created the theory of the multicolored sun: he stated that different intensity of sunlight in different regions influenced the development of original art. In the 1910s, Yakulov visited Europe. His Italian experience presumably made an impact on his scenography for “Rienzi”, “Measure for Measure”, “Oedipus Rex”, and “The Merchant of Venice”. In the pre-Revolution period, Yakulov worked on easel painting. He participated in exhibitions of the “Mir Iskusstva” group and the Russian Artists' Union, and was close to the “Blue Rose” movement. When the First World War started, Yakulov joined the army and was wounded. He busied himself with graphics and arts and crafts. Yakulov also designed interiors. In 1909, his ‘caucasian tavern’ at a charitable ball became very popular, and he was much in demand as a designer. One of his most famous works was the interior design of the Café Pittoresque (opened in 1918); later, its constructivist forms were used in Soviet scenography. In 1918, Yakulov used this experience when he made his debut as a scenographer at the State Chamber Theatre. He created set design for “The Exchange” (directed by Vsevolod Meyerhold and Alexander Tairov), using schematized shapes and movable constructions. Yakulov continued collaboration with Tairov and designed such productions as “The Green Cockatoo” (1918), “Princess Brambilla” (1920), "Giroflé-Girofla" (1922), and “Rosita” (1926). Yakulov found it necessary to pay a lot of attention to costumes: the costume not only influenced the spectator's imagination but also the actor's play. The artist also insisted that different genres require different scenography. Yakulov used techniques of constructivism and light effects, experimented with textures. The architect Alexander Tamanyan characterized these works as cutting-edge, “a firework in decorative art”. Yakulov’s approach prevailed during the first decade of Soviet theatre art. He created the scenic design for "Rienzi" (1923) for the Free Opera of the Sergey Zimin Theatre Joint Stock Company, “The Beauty from Lyulyu Island” for the Theatre Studio directed by Ruben Simonov, “The Steel Step” (1927) for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and other productions. Yakulov worked for the Rustaveli Georgian State Drama Theatre in Tbilisi and the 1st State Theater of Armenia in Yerevan. In 1918–1920, Yakulov worked as a professor at the VKHUTEMAS. He headed a theatre workshop and developed with his students experimental scene design projects. The Bakhrushin Theatre Museum holds sketches of costumes, scenery, and make-up, and also playbills related to Yakulov’s work. In our online collection, we represent “Princess Brambilla”, “Signor Formica”, “Giroflé-Giroflathe”, "Mystery-Bouffe", “Rienzi”, "Wandering Jew", and “Rosita”.