Iurii Annenkov was a renowned painter, draughtsman and stage designer. Born in Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, he entered the University of St. Petersburg in 1908, and also attended lessons in the studio of Savelii Zeidenberg. In 1909-10 he attended the studio of Ian Tsionglinskii, before studying in Paris under Maurice Denis and Félix Valloton.
Upon his return to Russia, Annenkov became involved in the artistic life of the capital, participating in theater productions as designer and producer. Even though the early years of the revolution were difficult, the period proved very productive for Russian artists with its atmosphere of change and stimulating creativity, which Annenkov later often recalled.
Annenkov was a skilled caricaturist and portraitist, often portraying his friends and prominent political and cultural figures such as Gorkii, Pasternak, Lenin, Trotsky, and Tikhonov (sold at Christie's, November 28th, 2007, for £2,260,500).
In 1924 Annenkov moved to Paris and led the revival of the 'World of Art' movement and established the 'Society of Easel Painters.' He continued his involvement in the theater world and designed film sets in both Germany and France. The present painting, 'Venice,' in its composition recalls a stage set - a reflection of the artist's continuous passion and preoccupation with theater and design.