Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin:
(1878, Khvalynsk, now Saratov OblasteFebruary 15, 1939, Leningrad) was an important Russian and Soviet painter and writer.
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was born in Khvalynsk (Saratov Oblast) into the family of a local shoemaker. His first exposure to art was in his early childhood, when he took some lessons from a couple of icon painters and a signmaker. Still, Petrov-Vodkin didn't quite see himself in art at that time; after graduating from middle school, he took a summer job at a small shipyard with plans to get into railroad college in Samara. After failing his exam, he turned to "Art Classes of Fedor Burov" in 1893.
In April 1895, Burov died and for some time Petrov-Vodkin took different painting jobs in the vicinity of Saratov. By chance, his mother's employer invited a well-known architect, R. Meltzer. Petrov-Vodkin was introduced to the guest and impressed him enough to get an invitation to study art at Saint Petersburg. The education was financed by a charitable subscription among local merchants. He also met at this time Borisov-Musatov, an important painter resident in Saratov, who encouraged Petrov-Vodkin to continue his studies.
Petrov-Vodkin stayed in Saint Petersburg from 1895 to 1897 studying at the Baron Stieglits School, before moving to the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. There Petrov-Vodkin was a student of Valentin Serov, Isaak Levitan and especially Konstantin Korovin. In 1901 he travelled to Munich to take classes with Anton Ažbe.
He graduated in 1904.