Pavel Fyodorovich SCHWARZ

Odessa 1875 - Odessa 1934


The Ukrainian artist Pavel Schwarz was born into a relatively wealthy family in the port city of Odessa, where he studied law between 1895 and 1899. In 1902 he left for Paris, where he trained at the Académie Vitti art school, and in later years he was much influenced by contemporary French art. In 1905 Schwarz exhibited for the first time at the Society of South Russian Artists (Obshchestvo iuzhnorusskikh khudozhnikov), founded in Odessa in 1890, where he continued to show between 1911 and 1919. After the Russian Revolution, he took up botanical illustration and theatrical scene painting; both areas which allowed him relative creative freedom during Soviet times. In 1922 Schwarz was a founder member of the Kostandi Society of Artists, named for the recently deceased Ukrainian painter Kyriak Kostandi, and exhibited annually with the group until 1929. He was appointed chief artist of the Odessa Opera Theatre, for which he not only designed scenery and costumes for numerous performances, but also aided in the restoration of the theatre after a fire in 1925. Following his death from tuberculosis in 1934, Schwarz was relatively forgotten for many years, although several of his works were acquired by museums and private collections. In 2021 an exhibition of sixty-five works by the artist, mainly dating from the first quarter of the 20th century, was shown at the Odessa Fine Arts Museum in Ukraine.