Natalia Goncharova. A woman of the Avant-garde with Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso.

a fascinating journey in the colourful world of the multifaceted Russian artist.

From 03 October 2019 to 19 January 2020


From 3 October 2019 to 19 January 2020 Palazzo Strozzi in Florence hosts the exhibition ‘Natalia Goncharova. A woman of the Avant-garde with Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso’. After the great success of the retrospective dedicated to Marina Abramohvic, the important museum complex in Florence focuses on another woman who, with her life and works, has influenced her time. Goncharova was in fact a versatile artist who was not only a painter but also an illustrator, costume and set designer and also a performer. This truly special woman is presented through 130 works from the collections of the most important European museums.

The Palazzo Strozzi exhibition also compares the production of the Russian painter with masterpieces by great artists such as Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Umberto Boccioni. Her unconventional and nonconformist life is retraced through a journey that, starting from the Russian countryside, reaches Moscow and Paris and also Italy. The exhibition on Goncharova offers a female point of view on the most important artistic trends that marked the first half of the 20th century. It is therefore an engaging event, which should absolutely be included in your list of things to do in the coming winter! But first we will give you some useful information and tell you more about the star of this unmissable exhibition.



She was born in 1881 in the governorate of Tula and later moved to Moscow where, after the female gymnasium, she attended the School of Painting and Sculpture. Here she met Mickhail Larionov, who became her life companion and later her husband. In Moscow, thanks to the collections of Shchukin and Morozov, she was exposed to the styles of Renoir, Cezanne, Toulose-Latrec, Van Gogh and Picasso. These great masters, in addition to allowing her to follow the evolution of modern painting, left an indelible trace in her artistic work. It was Gaugin above all who influenced Natalia Goncharova works. However, she followed a different style inspired by her cultural roots, folklore and the craft traditions of her country.

As already mentioned, Natalia Goncharova’s biography is that of an unorthodox woman who was ahead of her time. She was the first woman who as early as 1910 exhibited female nudes in Russia. For this she was accused of pornography but fortunately she was acquitted. Certainly, the exhibition created great clamor!

From then on, thanks also to Kandinsky's suggestions, the works of Natalia Goncharova reached outside the confines of Russia and were presented in Munich, Berlin and London.

The affirmation of her artistic talent came in 1913 when her works were exhibited at the Klavdia Mikhailova Art Exhibition in Moscow. Twelve thousand visitors admired more than 800 works: paintings, watercolors, pastels, embroidery and fashion figurines.

For her versatility, exuberance and modernity in art but also in life, she was dubbed ‘The amazon of Avant-garde’. The art works of Goncharova were not limited to paintings but stage costumes became also the means through which she expressed her own artistic thought. In fact, her contribution to theater was also very significant, as evidenced above all by her relationship with Diajlev, which led her to design numerous costumes for the Ballets Russes, the famous dance company.



The monographic exhibition on Natalia Goncharova running from 3 October to 19 January has been organized by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Tate Modern in London in collaboration with Ateneum Art Muserum in Helskinky and the support of the Municipality of Florence, Tuscany Region, the Chamber of Commerce of Florence and Cassa di Risparmio of Florence. The Natalia Goncharova exhibition in Florence features 130 works displayed according to themed sections: looking to the east, Natalia's Russia in 1913, the Great War, Theater, modernism, Gocharova and Italy.

At Palazzo Strozzi, the Goncharova monographic exhibition, curated by Ludovica Sebregondi, offers the opportunity to admire some of her most significant works, such as the famous ‘Self-portrait of the yellow lilies’ which was also chosen as the logo of the exhibition itself. Another canvas over which to linger is surely ‘Peasants picking apples’ which reveals the great influence of Gaugin. The Natalia Goncharova exhibition in Florence at Palazzo Strozzi continues with ‘Harvest’ and also displays some of those nudes that caused her to stand trial for obscenity. From the sacred to the profane, quite the contrary, since the exhibition continues with a series of religious works among which is the monumental polyptych ‘Evangelists’, which in 1914 attracted a lot of attention in St. Petersburg. The Goncharova exhibition in Florence also includes a very interesting section, where her works are compared to works by Italian futurists. As a result, Boccioni's ‘Ciclista’ is made to dialogue directly with that of the Russian painter. The figure of Mickhail Larionov, her companion and then husband, is found both in the paintings and in some photographs that accompany the exhibition.


You have until 19 January to discover Natalia Goncharova at the Strozzi Palazzo exhibition. Do not miss the opportunity to venture into the colorful world of this multi-faceted artist and to put her art in relation with that of the great masters of modern painting. In the list of Palazzo Strozzi current exhibitions on the venue’s website, you will find all the information to plan your visit: the Natalia Goncharova exhibition in Florence is open every day from 10.00 to 20.00 and on Thursdays also in the evening until 23.00. Palazzo Strozzi, is located in the city center so you can easily add a visit to the exhibition as you set out to discover the city. For a top visit to Florence and avoid wasting time but also to make sure you see the best attractions, we advise you to book Your own Florence: as with a tailor-made suit, our guides will tailor-make the perfect tour according to your requests and interests.


Natalia Goncharova works and those of the great masters of the 20th century await you at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff