Proud Of The Nation: Famous Belarusians — Part 4

… in artistry

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall was an artist associated with several major artistic styles and one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. He was an early modernist, and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Marc Chagall was born in Liozna, near the city of Vitebsk in 1887. Chagall received many prizes and much recognition for his work. He was also one of very few artists to exhibit work at the Louvre in their lifetime.

Yehuda (Yury) Pen

He is most famous as the first teacher of Marc Chagall. For twenty years he was an assistant professor of painting at the Academy of Arts, and schooled Ilya Repin, Isaac Asknasii, Mikhail Vrubel, Valenlin Serov and Vasily Surikov, all of whom always spoke of their instructor with love and respect.. He settled for live in Vitebsk, Belarus. It is here he had started his famous school of drawing. Pen's private school existed until Marc Chagall opened the public Higher School of Art in 1918.

Автопортрет, 1922

Mikhail Savitsky

People’s Artist of Belarus, author of about 200 pictures, creator of the unique series of pictures Figures on the Heart dedicated to death camp prisoners. Many works by Mikhail Savitsky are internationally recognized. Born in the village of Zvenyachi, Vitebsk Oblast (1922). Hero of Belarus (2006).

Chaim Soutine

A renown Belarusian-French painter Chaim Soutine was born in Smilavichy in 1893. In 1907 Soutine attended the courses of drawing in Minsk. A Jewish artist named Kruger, Director of the School, taught him the elementary aspects of work as an artist. In 1912 Soutine followed his friends to Paris. Later he and a number of Jewish artists from Belarus created what is now known as Ecole de Paris, or School of Paris.

Gavriil Vashchenko

People’s Artist of Belarus, a painter and a pedagogue, one of the founders of the monumental decorative art school. Person of the Year 1992 and Person of the 20th Century (1993) as acknowledged by the International Biographical Center of Cambridge. Person of the Year 1994 according to the American Biographical Institute. Born in the village of Chikalovichi, Gomel Oblast (1928).

Michel Kikoine

He is the  member of the School of Paris from Belarus. Born in Rechytsa, near Homel, in 1892, Kikoine was 15th years old when he first met Soutine at Kruger's School of Drawing in Minsk. One year later, they were both studying art in Vilnia, and in 1911, we find Kikoine in Paris. There, he too was admitted to l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts and moved into La Ruche. After his first exhibition in Paris in 1919, Kikoine exhibited regularly at the Salon d'automne and spent every summer painting in his summer residence in Central France. In October 1973, a retrospective of Kikoine's works, including 94 paintings, was organized in Paris in the ''Galerie de Paris''.

Alfred Romer

He was a Baltic-German/Polish painter, sculptor, printmaker and medallist who worked in what is now Lithuania and Belarus. He studied drawing with Kanuty Rusiecki and continued his studies in Paris with Antoni Oleszczyński. In the late 1850s, he returned home and settled on an estate in Utena County. He also contributed prints and drawings of rural life to a magazine called Каласы (Ears of Wheat). He wrote a monograph on the history and manufacture of a garment known as the "Slutsk Sash" and a history of the "Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts". He also made a collection of old documents that he took to the National Museum, Kraków in 1884, and lived there for several years while serving on the Art Commission of the Polish Academy of Learning. In addition to his portraits and drawings, he created religious works at several churches; most notably the "Madonna of Pinsk".

Leon Bakst

Famed artist and stage designer, decorator, dress designer, portrait painter, master of easel painting, and one of the founders of the World of Art group. Born into a middle-class Jewish family in Grodno in 1866 as Leib Chaim Rosenberg, he later took a pseudonym derived from his grandmother's family name, Baxter. Leon Bakst gained worldwide recognition thanks to his collaboration with Sergei Diaghilev and Ballets Russes for which he designed exotic, richly colored sets and costumes.

File:Bakst self.JPG

Ferdynand Ruszczyc

Born in the village of Bohdanów (in what is now Belarus), Ruszczyc originally studied law at the University of St. Petersburg, but then switched majors and began taking painting classes at the Imperial Academy of Arts. He was a student of the famous Russian landscape painters Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuindzhi. Ruszczyc helped develop the Warsaw School of Fine Arts, where he taught for a while. In 1907–08 he held the chair of landscape painting at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. Ruszczyc also organized cultural events, and worked as a graphic designer, poster designer and illustrator.

Mai Dantsig

Mai Dantsig is a Belarusian artist active during the Soviet era and independence of Belarus. He is considered to be one of the founders of the contemporary Belarusian art. Dantzig graduated from Minsk Art School in 1952. He studied in the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, then has been teaching at the Belarusian Academy of Arts. In 1995 he became a People's Artist of Belarus. In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Francysk Skaryna. Mai often paints in large formats, which, in addition to his expressive style, helps transform his chosen themes from quotidian to important, and imbues his pictures with a monumental character. His works often take on symbolic or metaphorical significance. He was the author of many paintings and drawings related to World War II and Soviet partisans including the And the Saved World Remembers. He is also famous for his series of portraits of Soviet intelligentsia including Bulat Okudzhava, Georgy Tovstonogov, Ales Adamovich, Vasil Bykaŭ.

Morris Kantor

Born in Minsk in 1896, Kantor was brought to the United States as a child in 1906. He produced a prolific and diverse body of work, much of it in the form of paintings, which is distinguished by its stylistic variety over his long career. Perhaps his most widely recognized work is the iconic painting "Baseball At Night", which depicts an early night baseball game played under artificial electric light. Although he is best known for his paintings executed in a realistic manner, over the course of his life he also spent time working in styles such as Cubism and Futurism, and produced a number of abstract or non-figural works. He was active in sketching and drawing through the 1970s, until shortly before his death. Kantor's work is on display in many prominent museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum.

Ivan Khrutsky

Born in the village of Ulla, Lepel Uyezd (District), Vitebsk Province. A distinguished painter known for his own painting style, a mixture of still lives and portraits. Ivan Khrutsky’s 200th anniversary was inscribed into the UNESCO Memorial Calendar List in 2010.


Alexandr Rodin

He is a Belarusian contemporary painter, and is currently residing in Berlin, Germany. He often turns to technique called 'pointillism'. His paintings have been noted for being polysemantic. His first exhibition was in 1971 at the Exhibition of Young Artists at the Belarusian National Arts Museum. Since 1971, he has held over 35 exhibitions, in Belarus, Russia, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Alexander Rodin’s paintings are quite unexpected for Belarusian art with its ideological taboos and conventional norms. His works are often large in size (up to over 6 metres in length and 2 metres in height, albeit spread out over several canvases), and represent surreal scenes in Rodin's mental universe.

Wladyslaw Strzeminski

Wladyslaw Strzeminski was a Belarusian-Polish avant-garde painter of international renown. During the 1920s he formulated his theory of Unism. His Unistic paintings inspired the unistic musical compositions of the Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze. He is an author of a revolutionary book titled "The theory of vision." He was co-creator of unique avant-garde art collection in Lodz gathered thanks to the enthusiasm of members of the “a.r.” group. In postwar Lodz he was an instructor at the Higher School of Plastic Arts and design "Noeoplastic room" in Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz.

Boris Zaborov

He is a Soviet-trained artist. He moved to Paris, France in 1980 to begin a career in painting that has resulted in numerous exhibitions and increasing recognition in European, American and Russian art circles. While free to paint what he wanted, he also found himself alone. He used this loneliness, combined with a folder of family photos brought from the Soviet Union, to create a unified artistic vision that continues to inform his work. In Paris he had his first solo art show. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums, in Paris and around the world.

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