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 Leonid Berman  (1896 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: New York / Russian Federation      Known for: neo-romantic painting-beach scenes

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Leonid Berman
from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Leonid Berman (b. 1896 / d. 1976)

Leonid Berman was born in 1896 in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Born Jewish, after the start of the Russian revolution in 1917, Leonid and his brother, Eugene Berman, were forced to flee the country.

In Paris, the brothers earned the name “Neo-Romantics,” having taken inspiration of Picasso’s Blue Period.  Together they had an exhibited at the Galerie Pierre in Paris, France.  Leonid began using the single name of “Leonid” to avoid any confusion with his older brother.

In 1948, Leonid Berman married Sylvia Marlowe.  Marlowe was the daughter of famous Russian Neo-Romantic painter who brought the couple into his extensive artists’ circle of Russian emigres and other European artists.

Berman wrote the book, “St. Petersburg to Paris, The Three Worlds of Leonid” published in 1979.  These memoirs tell of his permanent exile from Russia due to the revolution.  He also tells his process to become established abroad and a successful artist.

Leonid died in New York in 1976.

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Biography from Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum:
Leonid Berman was born in 1896 in Saint Petersburg in a Jewish family. In c. 1919, immediately following the Bolshevik Revolution, he and his family moved from Russia to France. From the early twenties, Berman studied with Christian Berard at l’Academie Rancoon.

Together with these artists, Berman formed the group known as the Neo-Romanticists, which contrary to Cubism and Futurism insisted on poetic subject matter in painting. The group exhibited together in 1926 at the Durer Gallery.  ??In 1929, Berman exhibited at the Balzac Gallery in New York.

During World War II, Berman was taken prisoner in France and confined to a German work camp. Liberated at the end of the war, he relocated to the US in 1946 where he befriended the Stroud family, to whom he would bequeath half of his possessions, composed in large part of his paintings.

Beaches are typical subjects of his work, similar to landscapes from the 18th and 19th centuries rather than impressionistic in style. In 1948 he married the musician Sylvia Marlowe. Leonid Berman, who would gather his memoirs in the book The Three Worlds of Leonid, died in New York in 1976.

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