Soviet Belarusian painter Mikhail Savitsky
Soviet Belarusian painter Mikhail Savitsky (February 18, 1922 – November 8, 2010) – People’s Artist of the USSR (1978) and the Belorussian SSR (1972), member of the Russian Academy of Arts and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, laureate of USSR State Prize (1973), Hero of Belarus (2006). Soviet artist Mikhail Andreyevich Savitsky began his military service in the anti-aircraft artillery. Since the beginning of the war as part of the 345th Infantry Division was parachuted into the besieged Sevastopol, during all 250 days participated in the heroic defense of the city. He fought to the last. Then, fully experienced the inhuman hell of Nazi torture chambers. The theme of war became central in his work. It constantly worried him. His works call for vigilance, again and again forcing the price to comprehend today’s peaceful life.
Fame came to the People’s Artist of the USSR Mikhail Savitsky with majestically epic, memorable “Partisan Madonna” (1967). In the image of young mother peasant viewers saw the symbol of Belarus fighting.
Soviet Belarusian painter Mikhail Savitsky was born in the village of Zvenyachi of Vitebsk region. His youth coincided with the years of the Great Patriotic War. At the age of twenty years, he participated in the battles for Sevastopol. Almost at the very beginning of the war he was in the concentration camps of Düsseldorf, Buchenwald and Dachau. April 29, 1945 was released from the Dachau concentration camp by American troops.
Mikhail Savitsky got his Art education after demobilization from the army. In 1951 he graduated from the Minsk Art College, then studied at the Moscow Art Institute of Surikov (workshop of D. Mochalsky), from which he graduated in 1957. He lived and worked in Minsk, was the head of state cultural institutions “Creative academic studios of painting, drawing and sculpture.” People’s deputy of the USSR in 1989-1991 (from the Culture Fund). He received the Order of Francis Skaryna (1997), was a member of the International Slavic Academy.
In recent years, he was seriously ill, suffered a massive stroke. Savitsky died on 89 th year of life November 8, 2010.
Leaving in the Night (1980) – one of the recent paintings of the great master. On the canvas depicted only two figures – a mother and daughter. Mother accompanies very young girl to the guerrilla unit – to fight the enemy, to protect the homeland. The face of an old woman is full of inner strength and conviction. She is aware that her daughter goes, perhaps, to a certain death, but she does not stop her.
She looks at us with wide eyes. They – that sadness and pain that was in the hearts of Belorussians: the first republic took the brunt of the enemy, the longest suffered under the Nazi yoke. But remained unbroken and unbowed, standing on the sacred battle nationally – from small children to old age. The artist reveals the deeply moral eternal theme – the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil.