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Alexis Paul Arapoff
Date: 1904 - 1948
Remarks: Alexis Paul Arapoff was born on December 16, 1904, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The son of physicians, he was tutored at home until he entered secondary school in the city of Saratov in 1916. In the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, the school was closed in 1918 and young Arapoff and his family eventually became homeless. While living as a refuge in southeastern Russia in 1920, he first studied art under Hans Tan Bergler, later a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Because of his work with Bergler (about fifty small landscapes), Arapoff was admitted to the Art Institute in Saratov in 1922. In Moscow from 1923 to 1924, he designed furnishings for the Worker's Club in the Kremlin, and sets and costumes for the avant-garde theater of Foregger. In 1924 Arapoff left Moscow to tour with the theater Faux Miroir, and when the theater was disbanded in Poland, he went on to Paris to study. Arapoff had considerable success in Paris with his landscapes and portraits and exhibited frequently in both group and one-man shows. In 1930 he emigrated to the United States and settled in the Boston area, where he continued to paint and exhibit his work. In the late 1930s his interest turned to religious art, and he began working on religious panels and icon painting. Over the next several years, until his death on September 25, 1948 in an automobile accident, Arapoff executed a number of religious panels and icon paintings. A memorial exhibition of his work was held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1952.