Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov

Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov

Generous Earth. 1976. Painting by Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov (member of the USSR Union of Artists, born 15 September 1939)

Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov
The peak of popularity of talented artist Georgy (George) Popov in the Soviet Union fell on the 1970 – 1980s. In particular, his works became participants of numerous personal and group exhibitions in museums of the USSR and abroad. For example, his famous still-life “Generous Earth” (Vologda Regional Picture Gallery), which appeared in a variety of publications, became a textbook. In fact, the painting became a kind of symbol of the entire Vologda region. Nowadays, reproductions of this picture are in the school textbooks of the series “Origins”. Interestingly, Georgy Popov is a self-taught artist, as he did not finish any art school.
However, Georgiy Ivanovich began his creative life as a poet. Once, Russian poet Nikolai Rubtsov, after reading his “Poem of Love,” said: “Talentedly written!”

Cowberry collector (Nikolai Rubtsov)

Cowberry collector (Nikolai Rubtsov). Painting by Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov

Meanwhile, in the 1960s, the artist and poet met with each other in Vologda. And in his painting “Cowberry collector” Georgy Ivanovich Popov depicted Russian poet Nikolai Rubtsov. Here is my translation of the poem of Nikolai Rubtsov:


I’m literally happy with everything!
I lie on my stomach and eat it.
Cowberry, ripe cranberries!
Frightening lizards on the stump,
I lay on my back,
Keeping a plaintive cry
Swamp birds …
Above me
Between the birch and the pine
In their infinite sadness
Float, like thoughts, clouds.
Below is the river,
As a feeling of joy of carefree …
I love the autumn forest so much.
Above it is the radiance of the heavens.
What I would like to become –
Either a purplish quiet leaf,
Or the rain of a cheerful whistle.
But, having become transformed, reborn
I want to return to my father’s house,
So that once in that house
Before the high road
I would say: – I was in the woods as a leaf!
And say: – I was in the rain forest!
Believe me: I am pure soul …

Nikolai Rubtsov, Russian poet

Born on September 15, 1939 in the village of Krasnoye of Totsky district, Vologda region, he did not get a professional art education. However, since 1967, he participated in interregional, regional and international art exhibitions. And even became the member of the USSR Union of Artists (1981). His personal exhibitions took place in Chagoda (1973), Totma (1977, 2000, 2010), Vologda (1973, 1979, 1985, 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2014), Cherepovets (1985), Ferapontovo (2013), Leningrad (1989, 1996), Moscow (1994), Kostroma (1986), Kineshma (1986), Ivanovo (1986), Syktyvkar (1987), Riga (1991), etc. The artist’s works are in the funds of the Vologda Regional Picture Gallery, Vologda the State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, the Totem Museum Association, the local history museums of the Vologda region, and in private collections in Russia and abroad. The artist works in the technique of oil painting in the genres of landscape, still life, subject-themed and household paintings.

Meanwhile, George Popov began his appeal to creativity from poetry and folklore. Fascinated by the very elements of peasant culture in all the syncretism of its elements, from early childhood he observed peasant life. From song and dance to peasant painting and folk handicrafts. Therefore, there is nothing surprising that, already completely immersed in painting, George continued to write poetry and ditties. Subsequently, many of his paintings, he prefaced with the poetic lines.

Soviet Russian artist Georgy Ivanovich Popov

sources: 1, 2