Alexander Maksovich Shilov is a Russian portrait painter of the XX-XXI centuries, whose biography is an example of devoted service to art. The work of the genius Alexander Shilov reached its peak of fame in the period 1985-1995, when the old world was falling into decay, and the new one had not yet had time to finally take shape. The master’s paintings are the stories of people with whom the life line of the eminent painter crossed.
Biography of Alexander Shilov
Alexander Maksovich Shilov was born in difficult wartime on October 6, 1943 in Moscow. Poverty and gloom of life accompanied the childhood of little Sasha. However, the need did not prevent the boy from drawing in the art studio of the House of Pioneers. The difficult financial situation of the family forced the future artist at the end of the seven-year plan to go to a school for working youth and work as an auxiliary loader. During this difficult period, the art studio teacher took the talented young man to an exhibition on Gorky Street. There Alexander Shilov met Alexander Ivanovich Laktionov, professor of the Academy of Arts.
Alexander Shilov, being already a fairly experienced painter, entered the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. Surikov only in 1968. The graduate Shilov’s diploma work was portraits of Soviet cosmonauts. The republican exhibition, held in 1976 in the Manege, brought fame to the painter. Alexander Shilov was admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR. There were orders for portraits from the top party leadership and representatives of the elite circles.
However, the talent and inspiration of the master gravitated towards ordinary people, towards aged front-line soldiers and home front workers. Shilov’s fame, his life principles did not allow people to be forgotten by the turning point of the era. The heroes of the paintings are masterfully painted images of ordinary members of society. Somewhere an airy romantic story, but somewhere a dramatic fate.
1979-1990 years were marked by overseas trips, multiple exhibitions in Russia. The artist wrote a lot, his performance impressed his colleagues. A sensitive portrait painter, he responded to social events and noted the newly emerging social phenomena. After the death of his beloved daughter Masha in 1996, the State Duma considered the appeal of Alexander Shilov to transfer his works to the state. In 1997, a personal art gallery was opened, where the master’s works from the earliest to those written in the mature period are presented. Alexander Shilov continues to create at the present time. His museum collection is constantly updated with landscapes, portraits, still lifes. All works are the property of Russia.
Alexander Shilov, a recognized artist of the modern era, has been awarded numerous state prizes, medals and orders.
The most famous paintings by Alexander Shilov
The works created by the painter’s brush elevate and purify the soul. The most famous paintings by Alexander Shilov include:
- “Master of the Land” (1979) is a portrait of an old artilleryman who worked on a collective farm after the war. Thoroughly painted the smallest details of the picture convey the harmony of man and nature.
- “Mashenka Shilova” (1983) is an image of a sweet and spontaneous child, masterly written in pastel technique. One cannot help but feel that the work was created in an outburst of love and special creative inspiration.
- “Spring. Fedoskino ”(1987) – an image of a slow transition from winter to spring awakening of nature. The river in the vicinity of the Fedoskino village is freed from ice.
- “May God grant you health!” (1998) – genre revelation. The dull look of the praying eyes of a person who is not averse to drinking. He prays for a coin thrown by passers-by into his half-empty cap.
The Abkhazian Widow (2015) is a national portrait. Simple dark clothes, deep old wrinkles speak of the hard lot of an elderly woman who has lost her husband.
Having formed a commitment to the style of realism from the school bench, Alexander Shilov never deviated from this tradition. In his opinion, there is nothing better than displaying real events and people. Such art, being a kind of mediator between man and time, will live for centuries.