Sergey Vasilyevich Gerasimov (born September 14, 1885 – died April 20, 1964) was a renowned Soviet artist of the 20th century, professor, academician and teacher. The work of Sergei Gerasimov was posthumously awarded the highest award of the USSR – the Lenin Prize. His paintings illustrate the development of socialist realism in the visual arts, and his painting style embodies the best examples of impressionism.
Sergei Gerasimov was the dean of the painting faculty of the VKHUTEMAS (now the V.I.Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute), worked as the first secretary of the Union of Artists of the USSR, proved himself to be a talented organizer and a brilliant teacher. Diversified works came out from under his brush, from harsh revolutionary propaganda to lyrical landscapes. Contemporaries highly appreciated his talent and awarded him the title of People’s Artist.
Biography of Sergey Vasilyevich Gerasimov
Sergei Vasilievich Gerasimov was born on September 14, 1885, in the ancient town of Mozhaisk in the west of the Moscow region. His father was a peasant, was engaged in leatherworking, had an artistic taste, supported children in their desire to paint. Sergei Gerasimov from a young age was distinguished by a purposeful character. After graduating from a rural school, at the age of 16, he moved to the capital and in 1901 entered the Stroganov School of Industrial Art.
The next stage was the Moscow School of Painting, where the young man ended up in 1907. His teachers were famous painters of the realistic direction: Konstantin Korovin, Sergei Ivanov, Abram Arkhipov. The pedagogical gift of Sergei Vasilyevich Gerasimov manifested itself early. Since 1912, he gave lessons at the school of I.D.Sytin, showing himself to be a good teacher and organizer.
With the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918), the artist was drafted into the army, from where he was demobilized only after the October Revolution of 1917. Gerasimov took the revolutionary events with enthusiasm, devoting himself to the development of the new socialist art. He was in charge of the printing school, participated in the preparation of Moscow for the festive events, and painted propaganda posters.
Until the end of his life, Sergei Vasilyevich devoted a lot of time to teaching.
He worked at the Higher School of Artistic Skills, Polygraphic Institute. Since 1926 he became a member of the Society of Moscow Artists, since 1937 – a teacher at the Institute. V.I.Surikov.
During the Great Patriotic War, Sergei Gerasimov was evacuated to Samarkand, where from 1941 to 1943 he painted a series of oil paintings and watercolors dedicated to his journey inland and the ancient southern city. In the postwar years, Sergei Vasilievich Gerasimov, as a convinced member of the Communist Party, was given the opportunity to travel abroad.
He traveled around Europe, getting acquainted with the works of famous foreign painters. During his life, the master of socialist realism wrote many amazingly transparent, light landscapes, genre drawings. He worked on book graphics, improved the lithographic press, illustrated the classic works of M. Gorky, N. V. Gogol, A. S. Pushkin.
The famous artist died in 1964, on April 20, at the age of 79. Sergei Gerasimov was buried with honors at the Novodevichy cemetery. Modern connoisseurs can see his vast creative heritage in the Tretyakov Gallery, museums of St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Taganrog, Kiev and many other cities.
The most famous paintings by Sergey Vasilyevich Gerasimov
The paintings of Sergei Vasilyevich Gerasimov are distinguished by their realism, appeal to the feelings of the audience, creating an aura of belonging with a slight blur of contours. His most famous and characteristic works include:
- “Halt in the Caucasus” (date of creation unknown) – plunges the viewer into the stuffy atmosphere of a difficult passage through the mountains. Presumably inspired by the First World War.
- “The collective farm holiday” (1937) – is a colorful genre scene of the renovated Soviet village at the time of joint celebration of its inhabitants, in the open air, at a common table.
- “Samarkand” (1942) is one of the many sketches of the city in which the master had to live during the evacuation.
- “Mother of the Partisan” (1943-1950) is a textbook work glorifying the feat of the common people during the fascist occupation. The most famous work of a painter in the USSR.
- The watercolor “Illustration for the novel by M. Gorky” The Artamonovs Case “(1947) is one of the many illustrations created for the classic work of Maxim Gorky.
- “Mozhaisk landscape. Spring ”(1950-1960) – dedicated to the small homeland of the author. He returned to the theme of the ancient town and its surroundings throughout his life.