Natalia Goncharova was a Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer. Goncharova's lifelong partner was also a fellow Russian avant-garde artist Mikhail Larionov. She was a founding member of both the Jack of Diamonds (1909–1911), Moscow's first radical independent exhibiting group, the more radical Donkey's Tail (1912–1913), and with Larionov invented Rayonism (1912–1914). She was also a member of the German based art movement known as Der Blaue Reiter. Born in Russia, she moved to Paris in 1921 and lived there until her death.

Her painting vastly influenced the avant-garde in Russia. Her exhibition held in Moscow and St. Petersburg (1913 and 1914) were the first promoting a “new” artist by an independent gallery. When it comes to the pre-revolutionary period in Russia, where decorative painting and icons were a secure profession, her modern approach to rendering icons were both transgressive and problematic. Her work is usually considered too culturally specific to her Slavic heritage to be universally figured as avant-garde.

Goncharova had a successful career in fashion, where she was producing costumes for the Ballets Russes. The style was influenced by the her involvement in the avant-garde in combination with her Russian heritage. Like a lot of Eastern emigrants, she also designed dresses, in which her influence by Diaghilev was reflected.

"V.Nijinsky  and I.Rubinstein

in Schéhérazade"

In France, she worked for the House of Myrbor, where her Slavic heritage influenced the abstract design that were favored by the avant-garde. She also worked for a famous designer Nadejda Lamonava in Moscow, where her completely artistic expression came to life. She experimented with abstract design, colors, patterns, different combination od material, and evidently reacting against the prevailing fashion for Orientalism. Her design were both influenced by The Russian tradition and the Byzantine mosaics, which are visible in both the costumes and the dresses.

"Kiss of the Harlequin"


in the role of Faun"


"V.Nijinsky in dance"

"Tamara Karsavina"

"Fashion Illustration"

"Venus and Adonis" 

"Harlequin and Columbine. 

The Ballet "Carnival"