M. K. Čiurlionis and St. Petersburg: New Facts Concerning His Painting Black Sun


It is a well-known fact among Lithuanian scholars of studies on Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) that Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) once owned Čiurlionis’ painting Black Sun (or Ballad). However, it is known only by a reproduction printed in a Russian art magazine Аполлон [Apollon]1, with a title Conte fantastique and Сказка [Fairy Tale] and Stravinsky was specified as an owner of the painting and other details have not been well-researched. Even though some researchers visited St. Petersburg to find the painting several years ago, yet no trace was ever found. In this article, first we would like to look back at Čiurlionis’ visits to St. Petersburg and then, reveal new facts on concerts in which Čiurlionis’ music was performed and more over concerning Čiurlionis’ painting Black Sun how Stravinsky became interested in the painting by introducing letters exchanged between Stravinsky, Alexandre Benois and Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov.

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