Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (Russian: Бори́с Миха́йлович Кусто́диев) (March 7, 1878 – May 28, 1927) Boris Kustodiev was born in Astrakhan into the family of a professor of philosophy, history of literature, and logic at the local theological seminary.
His father died young, and all financial and material burdens fell on his mother's shoulders.The Kustodiev family rented a small wing in a rich merchant's house. It was there that the boy's first impressions were formed of the way of life of the provincial merchant class.
The artist later wrote, "The whole tenor of the rich and plentiful merchant way of life was there right under my nose... It was like something out of an Ostrovsky play." The artist retained these childhood observations for years, recreating them later in oils and water-colours
In the first years after the Russian Revolution of 1917 the artist worked with great inspiration in various fields. Contemporary themes became the basis for his work, being embodied in drawings for calendars and book covers, and in illustrations and sketches of street decorations, as well as some portraits (Portrait of Countess Grabowska).
His covers for the journals The Red Cornfield and Red Panorama attracted attention because of their vividness and the sharpness of their subject matter. Kustodiev also worked in lithography, illustrating works by Nekrasov. His illustrations for Leskov's stories The Darner and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District were landmarks in the history of Russian book designing, so well did they correspond to the literary images
In 1923, Kustodiev joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. He continued to paint, make engravings, illustrate books, and design for the theater up until his death of tuberculosis on May 28, 1927, in Leningrad