Soviet Art

USSR Culture

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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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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