Alexis Paul ARAPOFF 1905 — 1948
Олексій Олексійович АРАПОВ • Алексей Алексеевич АРАПОВ
Alexis Paul Arapoff, was born in St. Petersburg December 6, 1905 as the only son of noble parents. After the Russian (October) Revolution Arapoff was forced to leave St.Petersburg in order to escape imprisonment. He fled to a German colony on the Steppes. His first painting instruction Arapoff received from Hans Tan Bergler whom he met during his escape. He was admitted to the Art Institute of Saratov in 1921. In 1923 he moved to Moscow where he designed furnishings for the worker’s club, designed sets and costumes for the avante-garde theatre of Foregger, painted official portraits and posters, During this time Nicolas Simon introduced him to Modern French Art. He joined the theatre troupe “Faux Miroir”. Arapoff left Russia for Europe as a member of the troupe in 1924. In Paris the troupe disbanded and Arapoff decided to stay. Arapoff stayed in Paris for five years and exhibited successfully in many solo and group exhibitions. In 1930 Arapoff left Paris with his young America wife Catherene Green whom he married the year before. The next 18 years of his life Arapoff spent with his family in the greater Boston area. During this period Arapoff did many landscapes of the North Shore, sketches and wash drawings of his growing family, landscapes of Boston and suburbs and a series on the buildings of Harvard, but increasingly his interests turned to religious painting. By 1935 he was exhibiting studies for a painted series of Stations of the Cross. The same year he had a solo exhibition at the prestigious Grace Horne Gallery in Boston. He became a writer and lecturer on art and held regular exhibitions at his studios. In 1938 he had solo exhibitions at the New England Conservatory of Music and at “The Arts” in Boston. Arapoff’s absorption in religion intensified after he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1934 which was reflected also in his art. His last years he mostly devoted himself to research on religious art, especially on the Byzantine icon, and painting of icons. After 1940 he decided to master the technique of the Medieval Russian icon painters only occasionally painting portraits and landscapes. In 1947 he conceived a project of forming a Society of Liturgical Art.