September 01, 2016

A Russian Master in Britain

Strange as it may seem, the most important British mosaic artist of the twentieth century was born in Russia.

Boris Vasilyevich Anrep was born in St. Petersburg in 1883. His father, Count Vassily von Anrep, was an aristocrat and a member of the Russian civil service who reported directly to Tsar Nicholas II. In the natural order of things, Boris would have followed in his footsteps, but of course things turned out much different.

In 1899, as a teenager, Boris Vasilyevich was sent to study English at Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire. Then, from 1899-1901 he went to school in Kharkov, Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. It was in Kharkov that Anrep met Nikolai Nedobrovo, who was later to become an important literary critic in St. Petersburg.

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