Biography & Memoire

Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné

Avant-Garde Painter, Sculptor & Inventor.

Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine

Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné (1888-1944) was born in Kherson, Ukraine, in the Russian Empire at the time.

In 1902 he studied at the School of the Society for the Furthering of the Arts in St. Petersburg. From 1903 to 1907 he attended the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.

In 1908 he exhibited with the group Zveno (“The Link”) in Kiev organized by the artist David Burliuk and his brother Wladimir Burliuk.

In 1910 he moved to Paris, where until 1914 he was a resident in the artist’s colony La Ruche together with Alexander Archipenko, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Nathan Altman and others. He exhibited regularly in Paris after 1911.

He returned to Russia in 1914. In 1916 he had a solo exhibition in Oslo. In 1918 he had exhibitions with the union of artists Mir Iskusstva (“World of Art”) in Petrograd (St.Petersburg). In the same year he had an exhibition with the group Jewish Society for the Furthering of the Arts in Moscow, together with Nathan Altman, El Lissitzky and David Shterenberg. He participated at the First State Free Art Exhibition in Petrograd in 1919.

In 1922 Baranoff-Rossiné was the teacher at the Higher Artistic-Technical Workshops (VKhUTEMAS) in Moscow.

In 1924 he had the first presentation of his Optophonic Piano during a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow – a synaesthetic instrument that was capable of creating coloured lights, patterns and textures simultaneously.

In 1925 he emigrated to France.

Continuously experimenting, Baranoff-Rossiné is credited as an author of the Russian Avant-Garde Cubo-Futurism and Pointillist movements.

Baranoff-Rossiné applied the art of colour to military art with the technique of camouflage or the Chameleon process alongside Robert Delaunay which was patented in 1939.

Baranoff-Rossiné also invented a “photochromometer” that allowed the determination of the qualities of precious stones. Baranoff-Rossiné also perfected a machine that made, sterlized and distributed fizzy drinks, the “MULTIPERCO”, which received several technical awards at the time.

During the German occupation of France in World War II, Baranoff-Rossiné was arrested for having helped forge documents for the Jews and deported to Auschwitz, a German concentration camp where he was murdered by the Nazis.

Notable achievements


Throughout the years.


Born in Kherson (Ukraine – Russia)

1903 - 1907

Studied in Odessa (1903), then at the Imperial Academy of Beaux Arts in St. Petersburg.

1907 - 1910

Exhibited at the first historic exhibitions by the Russian avant-garde in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev, regrouping artists, musicians and sculptors as a synthesis of all the arts. Baranoff continued to work within this ideal. His polychrome sculpture SYMPHONY Number 1 is now exhibited at the MoMA – Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

1910 - 1914

Worked in Paris under the name Daniel Rossiné. Continued to sculpt and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants. Assumes the conquest of cubism then of futuristic dynamism. Has numerous artistic contacts and is particularly friendly with Robert and Sonia DELAUNAY with whom he keeps in touch until his disappearance. He affirms his originality with his Symphony No. 2, a polychrome sculpture made of ‘ paradoxal assemblies ‘ that is widely criticised but brings him to the attention of Guillaume APOLLINAIRE. Part of the School of Paris. Set up his studio in LA RUCHE, where he met ARCHIPENKO, CHAGALL, DOBRINSKY, SOUTINE, and ZADKINE. He also attended the Paris soirées given by the Baronne d’OETTINGEN and Serge FERAT where they welcomed the Russian and French avant garde including EXTER, GONTCHAROVA, LARIONOV, SURVAGE, Max JACOB and the art critic André SALMON.

1915 - 1917

Travelled to Scandinavia. Voyage en Norvege. One-man exhibition in Kristiana (Oslo, Norway) in 1916, and also in Stockholm, where he used his optophonic piano. He invented a new plastic principle to apprehend reality, based on the use of the Moebius ribbon.

1917 - 1922

Takes the double-barrelled name of Baranoff-Rossiné. Returned to Russia after the February 1917 Revolution where he was part of the Artistic Revolution. He married his first wife in 1919 but she died in childbirth in 1920 in Moscow to his first son, Eugene (1920-1997). In 1918 Baranoff-Rossine set up an Art Workshop in a room in the former St. Petersburg Academy.

1923 - 1924

Married Pauline Cemionovna Boukour (1900 – 1979). Pursuing his chromatic research, he achieves his dream of combining sound, colour and shape in building the famous Optophonic piano : striking the keys triggers the movements of coloured records. Dispersed after the war, it was rebuilt by his son Dimitri and is currently kept at the National Modern Art Museum in Paris. In 1924, he gave two piano optophonic concerts, with his wife Pauline, at the Meyerhold theatre and Bolchoi (Moscow).

1925 - 1939

1925-1939: Left Russia with his wife Pauline and his son Eugene to come to France. Founded the first optophonic academy in 1927 and pursued his audiovisual research work. Birth in Paris of his 2nd son, Michel in 1928, who died accidentally in 1935, and of his daughter Tatiana in 1934. His son Eugene left his family in 1936 at the age of 16, to return after his father’s death. His POLYTECHNIC SCULPTURE SCULPTURE POLYTECHNIQUE provoked the sarcasm of the press but this sculpture is currently exhibited at the National Modern Art Museum in Paris.


Birth of his third son Dimitri in Paris.


During the German occupation Baranoff-Rossine was deported to Auschwitz, a German concentration camp and murdered there in 1944 by the Nazis.

Memoire - Méthodologie des Arts Plastique

Memoire - École du Louvre

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