Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga 1922-2016

Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga (1922-2016)

Portrait of Anna Ekston. 1967. Oil on canvas. Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga (1922-2016)

Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga (1922-2016) – author of genre paintings, portraits and still lifes. As a portraitist, Muuga depicts people with a subtle and a complex inner world, a sublime and noble soul. Sensitively catching the shades of moods and feelings, she always gives a stable characteristic of the model, reveals its basic unchanging features.
In “Portrait of Anna Ekstoph” (1967), painted with great warmth and unconcealed sympathy, the nature of an elderly woman – a choreographer. All multifaceted complexity is in her artistic pose, her nervous hands. The intense inner life of the model is emphasized through the complex game of rigid graphic lines, and finely harmonized through the noble coloring.

Preparation for the holiday

Preparation for the holiday

In the genre paintings, portraits and still lifes of Muuga is the pathetic character of the image, the decorative effect of the color solution, and the conciseness of the composition. In particular, triptych “Protest against war”, 1959, “Orchestra”, 1962, “Festive flowers”, 1972, are all in the Art Museum of the Estonian SSR, Tallinn.

Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga (November 14, 1922 – Aug 1, 2016) was born in the Altai region of the USSR. However, in 1925, her family moved to the south of Russia to Pyatigorsk, and in 1938 to Nalchik. In 1940 she graduated from high school with a gold medal. In 1940-1941 she studied at the Moscow Institute of Technology and chemistry. After graduation, worked in the art studio for two years. Between 1943-1945 she studied at the Institute of Metallurgy and continued her studies at the Leningrad Mining Institute. In 1946 her family moved to Tartu, where the future artist found work as draftsman-designer at the architectural design department of the Government Office.

Meanwhile, she started studying painting under the guidance of Alfred Kongo (from 1947-1951) in Tartu State Art Institute and finished her studies in 1953 in Tallinn, the Estonian SSR State Art Institute. In 1962-1977 worked as a teacher at the same school in Muuga, then started as a freelance artist. Since 1953 she became a member of the Estonian Artists Union and participated in exhibitions of Soviet Art.

The works of Leili Muuga are in the Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, Tallinn Art Hall Foundation, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Art Museum, as well as in private collections.

Soviet Estonian artist Leili Muuga

Soviet Painting 1917-1973 illustrated catalog. Soviet artist. Moscow. 1976
Exhibitions of Soviet Art illustrated albums 1960-1980