1902 - 1978
Konstantin Tereshkovich went to school in Moscow, where his family had moved in 1907. In 1917 he attended classes briefly at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1920, after the revolution and civil war, during which he may have served as a Red soldier, he made his way to Paris, where, since his adolescence, he had always dreamed of being a painter in the city’s vibrant artistic climate. To welcome him in Paris were Larionov (this was the time of the Ballets Russes) and Soutine, who were full of the experience of living along with Chagall, Modigliani and many others in La Ruche, the famous rotunda built for the Paris Exposition and later used for artists’ studios. Making a living as best he could, Tereshkovich went to draw at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière. He joined the Montparnasse circle of Kisling, Kremen and Lanskoy and later that of Roland Oudot, Maurice Brianchon and Raymond Legueult. Later they went on to form Réalité Poétique (Poetic Reality), a spontaneous group of painters that only became formalised in 1948.
Tereshkovich joined the French Foreign Legion in 1939 but was demobilised in 1940. In 1944 he fled with his family to Avallon, where he had often painted. From 1950 he lived and worked in Menton, travelling, either in search of new subject matter or for pleasure, and once every four years went to the Olympic Games, to indulge his taste for sport.
When Tereshkovich arrived in Paris he was overwhelmed by it, at first letting himself simply be carried away like a tourist, by shows like the French Can-Can, whose young dancers he painted both on stage and backstage; these paintings brought him some success. In 1933, he designed sets and costumes for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. That year, he also married. His wife became his favourite model, and she was joined later by their two daughters, in countless family scenes that show his evident happiness down the years. He painted a wide variety of subjects, including Portrait of Frédéric Lefèvre, L’Espagnole, La Belle Danoise, and Avallon Town Crier, all of which were typical of his style. He also painted still-lifes and landscapes, such as Church near Avallon and Landscape at Villeneuve, and many horse racing scenes (he was a great racing enthusiast). In addition, he also produced many lithographs, some of which were illustrations for works by Colette or Chekhov, as well as designs for ceramics and tapestries. In his landscapes of the outskirts of Paris and the nearby countryside he would seize on a sudden intense ray of light piercing the mists on the Seine and turn it into something quite personal. During his travels, he went in search of ever more distant landscapes, both in France and beyond. Over the years, he also painted many portraits of his painter friends and others whom he met. Some of these portraits are entirely predictable, such as that of Bonnard, for whom he had nothing but admiration, but some of his other subjects are more surprising. These include: Soutine, Bonnard, Matisse, Utrillo, Vlaminck, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Rouault, Derain, Friesz, Van Dongen and Braque.
Tereshkovich exhibited in various group exhibitions, including: from 1925 at the Salon d’Automne, Paris; in 1929, in Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery, along with Chagall, Soutine, Zadkine and Puni (the exhibition of Russian artists working in France). He went on to show work in many exhibitions around the world, such as: 1951, 1st Menton Biennale, where he won the Grand Prix; 1954 to 1958, 1963, the École de Paris exhibition at the Galerie Charpentier; regularly at the Salon des Peintres Témoins de leur Temps; 1972 Galerie des Granges, Geneva, Les Maîtres de la Réalité Poétique; and 2003, Musée de Montmartre, Paris, A Russian Summer in Montmartre: St Petersburg Artists in Paris in the Early 20th Century.
He also showed work in solo exhibitions: 1927 Paris, Galerie Ch. Aug. Girard; 1934 Geneva, Musée de l’Athénée; 1937 Chicago, New York; 1938 Paris, Galerie de l’Élysée; 1942 Paris, Galerie Pétridès; 1946 Paris, Galerie Dubourg; 1948, 1951 Paris, Galerie Bernier; 1953 Paris, Galerie Pétridès, and Nice, Galerie Matarasso (watercolours and lithographs); 1957 Paris, Galerie Bernier (still-lifes); 1958 Paris, Galerie Pétridès; 1959 Château de Cagnes, his first retrospective; and London, O’Hara Gallery; 1961 New York, Acquavella Gallery; 1964 Paris, Galerie Pétridès; 1965 Tokyo, Yoshii Gallery; 1969 Tokyo, Tamenaga Gallery; 1969, 1971, 1976 Paris, Galerie Pétridès. After his death, his work was shown in: 1980 Paris, Hommage à Térechkovitch (Homage to Tereshkovich), Galerie Étienne de Sassi; 1986 Menton Museum; 1989 Paris, Galerie J.P. Joubert and Galerie France T. (works on paper). He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1951.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Albi: Portrait of Matisse (1941)
Menton: Portrait of Soutine (1933); Portrait of Vlaminck (1938); Portrait of Bonnard (1941); Portrait of Matisse (1941-1942); Portrait of Derain (1942); Portrait of Friesz (1942); Portrait of Van Dongen (1942); Portrait of Utrillo (1943); Portrait of Braque (1943-1944); Portrait of Dufy (1948-1949)
Paris (MNAM-CCI): Sleeping Child