Georges Artemoff – a painter and sculptor — was born on 17 February 1892 in the town of Uryupinsk (now Volgograd oblast, Russia). His father, a military doctor, was the ataman of the stanitsa of Uryupinsk.
Georges studied in Novocherkassk Cadet Corps, attended painting classes in Rostov-on Don.
In 1910 the young man came to Moscow, met there S. N. Pimenoff, a painter – their friendship continued later in France. He studied in Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from K. Korovin. In December 1911 he held a personal exhibition in Rostov-on-Don, showing there portraits and still life.
In December 1913 he came to Paris where he was welcomed by O. Zadkine, who introduced him to Montparnasse painters' circle. In late 1917 he came back to Novocherkassk, and then he was an officer in the White army. So, with its military units, he was evacuated to Constantinople in 1920.
In Constantinople he got acquainted with film director V. Tourjansky and painter Lidia Nikanorova, whom he later married (in 1927). He belonged to Constantinople Union of Russian Painters. About this time he created a number of Golgotha -related paintings.
Early in 1923, Georges got a visa, went to Paris and called there Nikanorova. With her, as well as A. Minervin and S. Pimenoff he decorated the walls of «Caveau Caucasien» restaurant with images inspired by Russian folklore. In 1924, Artemoff, Pimenoff and Tourjansky went to Corsica to take part in shooting of film «The Passing Shades» produced by A Volkoff.
Georges Artemoff worked as a sculptor and a painter. He made sculptures, bas-reliefs and high-reliefs of African kinds of wood. The main topics of his high-relief were female figures and animals. He painted mostly portraits and still life.
Since 1927 he was exhibited in Salon of Decorative Art (becoming its member in 1928).
In April of 1930, he and his wife Lidia held an exhibition in R. Zivy gallery. In 1932 he took part in Russian art exhibition in La Renaissance gallery. The Ministry of Fine Arts of France bought his sculpture The Enchanted Fish from this exhibition. The same year his mahogany mural The Bison Hunt was shown at International Colonial Exhibition. He got the silver medal of French Artists Society Salon (1927), the gold medal of Salon of Decorative Art (1928), and a gold medal for wooden animalistic sculptures on the International Exposition dedicated to in Paris (1937).
After the death of his wife in 1938, the artist painted a number of religious pictures («Pieta», «Ecce Homo»). In the beginning of the war he found refuge in Castelnaudary. There he made two wooden murals “Lion Hunt” for the soldiers club. He also made an altar with sculptures, candelabra, tabernacle and stained-glass window for Christ the King church in Toulouse (the church was destroyed; the items are kept in Theology school in Toulouse). He held a personal exhibition in Chappe Lautier gallery in Toulouse. In 1942 Georges married an artist Jeanne Astre (1901–1993), a student of M. Denis, and they started living together in Sorèze.
After the war he mostly painted – maternity scenes, harlequins, musicians, still life, religious scenes, less frequently landscapes. He was on friendly terms with writer J. Bousquet, communicated with Pimenoff. In 1946–1958 he held about 20 personal exhibitions on Nice, Carcassonne, Cannes, Montpellier and Toulouse, in Paris galleries Pont des Arts (1951), J. Castel (1953), J. Mourgue (1958)
The artist died on 9 July 1965 in Revel, France.
His posthumous exhibition took place in the foyer of Municipal Theatre in Carcassonne (1968), in City Culture Centre of Toulouse (1975, 1992), in Artemoff’s workshop in Revel (1980), in Castres (1990), in Bonifacio (1992; together with Nikanorova), and in Chateau Prieural de Monsempron-Libos (July - October 1998). His works are present in the National museum of modern art and in Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi, in museums of Carcassonne, Castras, Montpellier, Toulouse, Lyons and Sète.
In 2010 the artist’s daughter Marie Artemoff-Testa (born 1945), living in Cadenet (Vaucluse department), held a major exhibition of her father’s painiting and sculpture in Goya museum in Castras, she also took part in publication of album «Georges Artemoff. Le dernier centaure» («Georges Artemoff. The Last Centaur ») (Toulouse, 2009).
February 17, 1892
July 9, 1965