Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Art for XXII Moscow Olympiad

Soviet Art for XXII Moscow Olympiad

E. T. Migunov. Picture for the booklet ‘Welcome’. Soviet Art for XXII Moscow Olympiad

Soviet Art for XXII Moscow Olympiad
Games of the XXII Olympiad, held in July-August 1980 in Moscow, have already become history. But in the memory of thousands of athletes participating in the competition, Muscovites and guests who have come to our country from many countries, hundreds of millions of TV viewers, they will forever remain a holiday of youth and health. Also, the clearest proof of how friendly and fruitful people can live and work together, cooperate and compete regardless of nationality and skin color.
The capital of the USSR was the first city of the socialist state in which the Olympic Games were held, the largest sports competitions of our time. Admittedly, they were a great success. Soviet art masters made an important contribution to the atmosphere of festivity and hospitality that distinguished the Games. Among them designers, monumentalists, graphic artists, painters, sculptors, poster and applied artists.
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Soviet Russian painter Nikolay Kasatkin 1859-1930

Soviet Russian painter Nikolay Kasatkin

The rivals. 1989. The State Tretyakov Gallery. Soviet Russian painter Nikolay Kasatkin (1859-1930)

Soviet Russian painter Nikolay Kasatkin

In December 1859, in the house of the philistine engraver Alexei Kasatkin was born a son, called Nikolay. The house stood in a vacant lot, behind a large mansion of a noble man. But the splendorof the mansion only emphasized the poverty, filth and gray dilapidated houses of Grachevka, where the poor settled. The boy grew up recalling pictures of people’s lives from childhood. He recalled gloomy workers, pale faces of working women, heard drunken songs, quarrels of shopkeepers and craftsmen. But it was here, in the line, that he began to love the working people.
The boy started drawing early. His father beautifully reproduced drawings on wood and stone and was in fact, the best engraver in Moscow. In addition, he taught drawing, and little Kolya studied with his students.
Fourteen-year-old Kolya entered the Art School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where his teachers were outstanding artists of Russia V. Perov and A. Savrasov.
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Soviet Russian artist Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov

Soviet Russian artist Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov

Charming peasant girl. 1945. Oil on canvas. Painting by Soviet Russian artist Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov (March 1870 – August 1958)

Soviet Russian artist Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov

“I like to picture ordinary people not only in work, but also to show their cheerfulness, fun, and games. I think that in this inexhaustible optimism of a simple Russian man is his great creative power, firm belief in a happy future”the artist wrote.
Born in a poor peasant family, early orphaned, Fedot Vasilievich Sychkov spent his childhood in the small village of Kochelayevo, Narovchatsky district, now located on the territory of the Republic of Mordovia. Sychkov showed his ability to paint in early childhood, but how could a simple peasant’s son count on learning the skill of an artist in the Drawing School, or even more so in the Higher Art School at the Academy of Arts? No, of course, this could only happen in a fairy tale. So, the talented boy painted icons, landscapes and portraits of fellow villagers. Fortunately, the fame of him went far beyond the icon-painting studio. In 1937 he became Honored Artist of the Mordovian ASSR, and in 1950 awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
Fedot Vasilyevich Sychkov (1870-1958) – Russian (Soviet) artist, Honored Artist of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1937), Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1950), People’s Artist of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1955).
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Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev 1949-1994

Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev (24 March 1949 - 1994)

“Curious neighbor”, wood painting. Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev (24 March 1949 – 1994)

Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev

The wood has always been marble and granite of Russia. And the closer to the north, the more sonorous, softer and more mysterious it became. But as in old good time, today you have to be a master to see a fairy-tale buffoon in a log and, in worthless little chips, a round dance of charming young girls. And not only skill is necessary, not only talent, there is a need for a soul, consonant with the living and warm spirit of wood, credulity to it. Such a master was Valery Zhigaltsev who worked in Kirov. According to Zhigaltsev, his teachers became wonderful Dymkovo masters and old turners, with their rough hands making out the thinnest musical boxes with numerous secrets.
In fact, the heart of the artist’s works lies the style of Russian lubok (folk pictures). Zhigaltsev developed various themes in the toy: folk festivals, the history of transport, Russian proverbs and sayings, and others. All the artist’s works are imbued with subtle humor and kindness.
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Soviet artist Marina Andreyevna Ivanova 1923-1967

Detail of painting 'Sofya Kovalevskaya'. Diploma work by Soviet artist Marina Andreyevna Ivanova

Detail of painting ‘Sofia Kovalevskaya’. Diploma work by Soviet artist Marina Andreyevna Ivanova (1923, Tiflis – 1967, Moscow)

Soviet artist Marina Andreyevna Ivanova
July 11, 1959 the Pilnitz castle (Schloss Pillnitz), near Dresden, opened an art exhibition of diploma and course works of students of Art Institutes of Surikov and Repin. The exhibition, in particular, included 9 diploma, 35 course etudes and 84 graphic works. Soon after the opening of the exhibition, Max Zeidewitz, director of the state art museums in Dresden, expressed his desire to acquire one painting. It was painting “Sofia Kovalevskaya” created by Marina Ivanova, graduate of the Moscow Art Institute named after Surikov.
The Presidium of the Academy of Arts of the USSR decided to transfer the picture of the Soviet student as a gift to the Dresden Museum and timed this gift for the celebration of the decade of the German Democratic Republic. That’s how this picture appeared in Germany.
Unfortunately, I could not find a detailed biography of the artist, except the article published in the Soviet magazine “Rabotnitsa” in 1963, four years before the death of a talented artist. According to the author of the article, she worked a lot – Marina’s studio was literally filled up with portraits of contemporaries …
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Soviet artist Irina Vasilievna Shevandronova

1981 Self-portrait. Soviet artist Irina Vasilievna Shevandronova (1928 - 1993)

1981 Self-portrait. Soviet artist Irina Vasilievna Shevandronova (1928 – 1993)

Soviet artist Irina Vasilievna Shevandronova
Born in Moscow, Irina Vasilievna Shevandronova (1928 – 1993) studied at the Moscow State Art Institute of Surikov, workshop of V.G. Tsyplakov (1947-1953). Her diploma work “Children in the village library” became one of the best genre paintings of 1950s Soviet Art. And in 1953 she could hardly suggest that the Tretyakov gallery would purchase it. Besides, this painting for many decades decorated pages of school textbooks in the USSR. Also, in 1963 Irina Shevandronova received the honored title of the People’s Artist of the RSFSR.
Noteworthy, the children’s theme for a long time became a distinctive feature of Shevandronova’s creativity, which allowed her to take a special place in Soviet art. Among the artist’s iconic works are also “Roads of Youth” (1970), “Young” (1974), and a series of children’s portraits.
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Pride of the Soviet people – Unsurpassed Soviet ballet

'Giselle'. N. Bessmertnova. Pride of the Soviet people - Unsurpassed Soviet ballet

‘Giselle’. N. Bessmertnova. Pride of the Soviet people – Unsurpassed Soviet ballet

Pride of the Soviet people – Unsurpassed Soviet ballet
First of all, the main features of the Soviet ballet – the ideological content, realistic orientation, and the organic connection with folk art. The keeper of the values ​​of the classical choreographic heritage, our Soviet ballet fruitfully developed the best traditions of Russian ballet art. Also, substantial realistic ballets created in the Soviet era – diverse in genres. In particular, heroic-revolutionary ballets, dramatic, lyric-comedy, tragedy, legendary-epic and fabulously enchanting.
Besides, the Soviet ballet theater is multinational. This gave it an amazing multicoloredness. Traditionally, each nationality brings its own features and characteristics to the created ballet productions, although it builds them on a common basis – classical choreography. The performing style of our ballerinas and dancers was remarkable for its naturalness and nobility.
The achievements of Soviet ballet art have gained wide international recognition. Numerous tours of ballet theatrical troupes and soloists – representatives of various national republics of the Soviet Union – went on abroad with triumphant success. In all countries of the world they admire the skill of the artists of the Soviet ballet, the significance of the repertoire, note the technical perfection, meaningfulness and spirituality of the performance.
The strength of the ideological, aesthetic, moral impact of the Soviet ballet is multiplied by its humanistic orientation.
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