Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Armenian artist Ruben Isaakovich Shaverdyan

Soviet Armenian artist Ruben Isaakovich Shaverdyan (1900-1977)

Making Music. 1971. Painting by Soviet Armenian artist Ruben Isaakovich Shaverdyan (1900-1977)

Soviet Armenian artist Ruben Isaakovich Shaverdyan
For over fifty years, the name of Ruben Isaakovich Shaverdyan was associated with the development of Armenian art. Saying “name”, we mean the artist’s whole life in a single stream of the contemporary artistic process in Soviet Armenia. He was one of the first who realized the rich possibilities of decorative and applied art as an independent form of knowledge of the world around him. Also, he solved in his work such tasks that went beyond the framework of decorative and applied art.
Already in his first works Shaverdyan demonstrates the certainty and maturity of his artistic thinking. Unfortunately, the painting of this period almost did not reach the present day, as he sold them to private hands, or casual buyers. And one of these works – still-life “Saxon Porcelain” – received an award among the best works at the exhibition of Soviet Art in Moscow in 1926. With this still-life Shaverdyan declared his passion for the decorative side of art.
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Soviet Russian artist Alexandr Vasilievich Kuprin 1880-1960

Soviet Russian artist Alexandr Vasilievich Kuprin (1880-1960). Pink, purple and black flowers on a pink background. 1926

Pink, purple and black flowers on a pink background. 1926. Soviet Russian artist Alexandr Vasilievich Kuprin (1880-1960)

Soviet Russian artist Alexandr Vasilievich Kuprin

One of the greatest masters of Russian art of the first half of the twentieth century, Alexandr Vasilievich Kuprin was an outstanding master of industrial landscape. Also known as one of the active members of the famous association “Knave of Diamonds”, and a member of the association “Moscow painters.” His teachers were prominent artists, such as Konstantin Yuon, Abram Arkhipov and Konstantin Korovin.
Born in 1880 in Borisoglebsk, Alexander Vasilyevich Kuprin grew in Voronezh since the age of three. Here Kuprin studied and later worked as a clerk on the railway. Meanwhile, the attraction to art led him to the evening classes of the Society of Art Lovers. Then, having decided to become an artist, he went to Petersburg (1902). There he attended workshop of A.E. Dmitriev-Kavkazsky, but in 1904 he left Petersburg for Moscow. In Moscow he studied in the workshop of prominent artist Konstantin Yuon, and two years later – the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. At the school, he turns out to be a very unruly student.
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1954 album Virgin lands by Soviet artists

1954 album Virgin lands by Soviet artists

Painting by Soviet artist V.Ya. Gonchar. To the virgin lands. 1954 album Virgin lands by Soviet artists

1954 album Virgin lands by Soviet artists

Modern, in particular in 1954, the theme of developing virgin and fallow lands could not but attract the thoughts and feelings of Soviet artists. To reflect in the realistic artistic images the beauty and greatness of the work of the Soviet patriots on virgin lands and to contribute to this victory was one of the important tasks of Soviet art.
Many artists showed a deep interest in a grandiose development on the virgin lands, which began on the call of the Communist Party in the spring of 1954 in Kazakhstan, Siberia, and the southern Urals. Artists who visited the virgin lands in the first days and months of its developing, plunged into the thick of a difficult life. They saw how, overcoming difficulties, the Soviet people turned huge spaces of untouched land into fertile fields.
Having lived side by side with tractor drivers, agronomists, geodesists, and workers of other professions who voluntarily gathered from different parts of the socialist homeland, the artists saw the heroic days of developing the virgin lands closely.
Some of these sketches and paintings were shown at the All-Union Art Exhibition in 1954 and at an exhibition in the Palace of Culture of the I.V. Stalin. The publishing house “Soviet Artist”, having selected a part of the works, published the album “Etudes, pictures from virgin land” – works by artists in the spring and summer of 1954.
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Soviet film actress Nina Maslova

Soviet film actress Nina Maslova

Tsarina Marfa Vasilyevna in the comedy film ‘Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession’, directed by Leonid Gaidai. Soviet film actress Nina Maslova

Soviet film actress Nina Maslova
Born on November 27, 1946 in Riga, Nina Maslova is a famous Soviet Russian film actress. She spent her childhood in the city of Nikolaev in Ukraine, and, according to her, it was not cloudless. The girl had a difficult relationship with her mother (she was very rude), so her stepfather brought her up. No wonder, the only dream of Nina was to leave her home. And while it was impossible to do this, she was in conflict with her mother (she cut her veins twice) and spent time in courtyard companies. Hence the taste of alcohol, she knew early – at 11 years of age, drinking with friends a bottle of cheap wine.
At the age of 18, Maslova’s dream finally came true – she escaped from her humbled parent home. Fell in love with the young Muscovite Alexander, who came to Nikolayev to work, she soon found himself with him in Moscow. And there she joined the Institute of Land Reclamation with him. It was in 1964. And the next year Maslova broke up with both – her Sasha and the institute, as became interested in actor’s profession.
Fortunately, in 1965 Maslova entered the School-Studio of the Moscow Art Theater. She lived in a hostel, where her neighbors were the future stars of Soviet cinema – Yekaterina Vasilyeva and Yekaterina Gradova.
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Soviet Tatar artist Ildar Kasimovich Zaripov 1939-2012

Soviet Tatar artist Ildar Kasimovich Zaripov 1939-2012

In the field. Painting by Soviet Tatar artist Ildar Kasimovich Zaripov (15 November 1939 – 14 June 2012)

Soviet Tatar artist Ildar Kasimovich Zaripov

Born 15 November 1939 in Kazan, Ildar Kasimovich Zaripov grew up in a large Tatar family. The talent for drawing appeared at an early age. After graduating from the Kazan Art College (1961), he entered the Moscow Art Institute named after V.Surikov. There began the artist’s creative development. He specialized in the easel painting, and studied in the workshop under the guidance of People’s Artist of the USSR DK Mochalsky. At the end of his studies he entered the creative workshop of Geliy Korzhev – famous Soviet artist.
One of the distinctive features of his style is the decorative expressiveness that is consonant with the folkloric sources of the culture of the Tatar people. For a long and fruitful creative life he created dozens of masterpieces that entered the Golden Fund of Cultural Heritage of the Tatar people and Russia.
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Soviet artist Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal 1889-1956

Soviet artist Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal 1889-1956

On the escalator, Moscow Metro 1941-1943. Oil on canvas. Painting by Soviet artist Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal (1889-1956)

Soviet artist Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal

Born in 1889, Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal is a talented Soviet painter, the author of paintings on the historical-revolutionary and everyday themes. The wonderful landscape painter, Grigory Mikhailovich Shegal was a man of broad artistic interests, high culture and an active life position. However, the path to professional activity was long and difficult for Shegal. Reading the biography of the master, you involuntarily marvel at his diligence, perseverance and purposefulness.
Born in the provincial city of Kozelsk, the future artist lost his father very early. So, talented and versatile gifted self-taught – he had to earn his own bread from childhood. The only rejoicing for him was reading. It awoke in him an unconscious desire to transfer to fragments of paper images born in the soul, inspired by books and impressions of the surrounding world.
A conscious desire to become an artist appeared a little later when he worked as an apprentice in the engraving workshop in Smolensk. Spending all his meager earnings for classes with a tutor, Shegal for three years prepared for passing the external examinations for the certificate of maturity and successfully withstood them. Next, he moved to St. Petersburg, where in 1912 he entered the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. Here he studied in the workshops of such prominent Soviet masters as Nikolay Rerikh and Arkady Rylov. In 1917-1918, Shegal spent a short time at the Academy of Arts, workshops of G. Zaleman and I. Bilibin and completed his professional education in 1925, being a mature man.
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Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin 1883-1969

Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin (1883-1969)

Penguin with baby. 1960 Wood sculpture. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Work by Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin (1883-1969)

Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin

Born in Moscow in 1883, Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin – Russian animal painter, sculptor and scientist-zoologist. The founder of the Darwin Museum, Alexander Fedorovich Kotts, was one of the first to draw attention to the talent of the young artist. Practically from the very foundation of the museum in 1907, the collaboration of the painter and sculptor V.A. Vatagin and director of the museum A. F. Kotts began. Vatagin, rightfully considered co-founder of the Darwin Museum has created more than 400 paintings, as well as about 100 sculptural works for 40 years of work.
Since childhood he was fond of drawing, and aged 15 he attended the studio of watercolor artist NA Martynov. In 1902, Vasily entered the natural department of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow University. Also, he studied at the studio of the painter K. Yuon.
After graduating from the university, the artist made several trips to the zoological gardens of Western Europe, visited Central Asia, India, and northern Russia. There he performed a large number of sketches of animals and birds, which later became indispensable helpers in various works. Among them – zoological illustration, easel painting, book illustration and sculpture.
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