Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomarev 1918-1997

New Uniform, 1953. Oil on canvas. Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomarev 1918-1997

New Uniform, 1953. Oil on canvas. Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomarev (17 February 1918 – 1997)

Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomarev (17 February 1918 – 1997) – Member of the USSR Union of Artists (1946), Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1963), People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1968). He was a corresponding member of the Academy of Arts (1966), a member of the Academy of Arts (1973), and member of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Arts, and in 1992-1997 – its President. In addition, he was a Chairman of the USSR Union of Artists (1973-1988). Noteworthy, in 1945, in the group of art experts participated in the rescue of the collection of the Dresden Gallery (the photo below). He was the winner of the third degree of the Stalin Prize in 1951, for a series of etchings “The miners of Donbass” (1949-1950). In 1957, was awarded the Gold Medal of the Ministry of Culture. Besides, for a series of graphic works “In India” he received the International Prize of Jawaharlal Nehru.

A group of Soviet art experts next to the painting "Madonna with St. Francis" by Antonio Allegri Correggio, in Pillnitz Palace

A group of Soviet art experts next to the painting “Madonna with St. Francis” by Antonio Allegri Correggio, in Pillnitz Palace

A group of Soviet art experts next to the painting “Madonna with St. Francis” by Antonio Allegri Correggio, in Pillnitz Palace. From left to right: SP Grigorov, Boris Alexeyev, Nikolay Afanasievich Ponomarev (1918-1997), MV Volodin (1912-1987), and SS Churakov (1909-1980). Noteworthy, the Soviet Union returned all 750 saved paintings to the galleries of Dresden.

Born in Rostov region, Nikolai Afanasievich Ponomarev studied at the Art School in Rostov-on-Don (1934-1939). Then, he continued studying art at the Moscow Art Institute, workshops of prominent Soviet artists A. Osmyorkin and P. Pavlinov (1940-1950).
Since 1947 he participated in exhibitions. In 1947-1949 he studied at the graduate school of the Moscow Art Institute, and in 1949 began to teach there. In 1950 he became the candidate of art criticism. Since 1952 – Associate Professor, since 1963 – Professor of the Institute.

Still life with grapes. 1950s

Still life with grapes. 1950s

The work of Nikolai Ponomarev is characterized by expressive rhythm of color planes, clarity of composition, the subtlety of color, poetic perception of nature and everyday life of the working people. He is the author of series of paintings, such as “The miners of Donbass” (1949-1950), “North Vietnam” (1957, 1958), “In India” (1961), “About people of Soviet Russia” (1964), “Sails of Moscow suburbs” (1969), and others.

Nikolai Afanasievich died in 1997 in Moscow. His works are in the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum and in many other museum collections in Russia.

Soviet artist Nikolai Ponomarev 1918-1997