The artist imagined Paris as the most romantic city on Earth, the city of love and lovers. It was the epoch of decadence, newly born symbolism in the arts, literature and the blossoming of the theater. Paris became the center of culture life for the whole world..
Vladimir Nasonov was born in St. Petersburg in 1957.
At school, among all other subjects, he preferred art classes such as drawing and modeling. He showed a certain talent in these fields as they displayed his works at the city exhibitions of children’s art. Drawing was a way for him to express his feelings and his perceptions of the surrounding world. At age twelve the boy knew for sure that his future profession would be as an artist. His visit to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg his decision to become an artist. The work of the famous Russian painters deeply impressed the boy with an already rich imagination such as Repin, Vrubel, Makovsky, Gasnetsov, and he tried to copy their work.
After finishing high school, they drafted Nasonov into the army. During his military service he continued to spend time on his favorite occupation. He did the necessary art work of the army, drew propaganda posters. With his spare time he tried to educate himself, spending much time in the library, studying history of the fine Western Europe and the art technique of the great Italian Renaissance. He paid special attention to the French painters of the second part of the nineteenth and the beginning twentieth century.
In 1978, after finishing his military service, Nasonov returned home and decided to devote himself completely to painting. The life and work of painters in the Soviet Union were not easy. The absence of Freedom, the impossibility to create pictures that were not answering the requirement of the official dogmatic doctrine of soviet realism, and prohibition to freely sell their own paintings made the life of unofficial painters very hard and complicated. In spite of the obstacles, Nasonov tried to sell his work in the street to earn some money for his family. The police arrested him and fined him more than fifty times.
As already mentioned, Nasonov paid special attention to European fine arts, predominantly French painters, He admired the works of Corot, Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Cortez, and Boldini. Certain features in those paintings attracted Nasonov, radiant, full of life. His interest in the painting transferred into interest in the epoch and the wonderfully city of Paris. The artist imagined Paris as the most romantic city on Earth, the city of love and lovers. It was the epoch of decadence, newly born symbolism in the arts, literature and the blossoming of the theater. Paris became the center of culture life for the whole world. Many artists of that time depicted and praised the famous Montmartre. Rich ladies dressed in white with wide brimmed hats, small decorative dogs, flower girls selling their flowers to couples in love. They were all popular art subjects. The smell of violets dominated the whole of Paris and put its citizens and guest into a special sensual, idle, serene state. Nasonov could convey on his canvases all this exciting atmosphere of the inimitable belle epoch.