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Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova was a Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer. Her great-aunt was Nataliya Nikolaevna Goncharova, wife of the poet Alexander Pushkin.
Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova was born on June 4, 1881 in Tula Governorate, which was the estate of her father, a notable architect and mathematician Sergey Goncharov. In 1891 the family moved to Moscow. In 1901 she entered Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where she met Mikhail Larionov who was a student of the same art school. Soon they formed a lifelong relationship.
Larionov and Goncharova were founding members of two important Russian artistic groups Jack of Diamonds (1909–1911) and the more radical Donkey's Tail (1912–1913). The Donkey's Tail was conceived as an intentional break from European art influence and the establishment of an independent Russian school of modern art. However, the influence of Russian Futurism is much in evidence in Goncharova's later paintings. Initially preoccupied with icon painting and the primitivism of ethnic Russian folk-art, Goncharova became famous in Russia for her Futurist work such as The Cyclist and her later Rayonist works. As leaders of the Moscow Futurists, they organised provocative lecture evenings in the same vein as their Italian counterparts. Goncharova was also involved with graphic design—writing and illustrating a book in Futurist style.