Alexander Samokhvalov

Born: 1894, Bezhetsk (Tver Province)
Died: 1971, Leningrad
Socialist Realism

Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, theatrical designer, applied artist, illustrator, writer, teacher. Studied under Vasily Belyaev and Hugo Salemann at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1914–18) and under Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Dmitry Kardovsky, Arkady Rylov and Vasily Savinsky at the State Free Art Studios/VKhUTEMAS in Petrograd (1920–23). Accompanied Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin on an expedition of the Academy of the History of Material Culture to Samarkand (1921) and helped to restore Old Russian frescoes at St George’s Cathedral in Staraya Ladoga (1926). Member of the Circle of Artists (1927–29), October (1930–32) and the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists (from 1932). Painted images of heroines of Socialist labour and sport (1928–34) and leaders of the Communist Party (1935–50). Modelled sculptures for the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (1930) and headed the brigade of artists painting the Cotton panel for the All-Union Exhibition of Agriculture in Moscow (1935). Designed the sets and costumes for performances of Alexander Ostrovsky’s The Poor Bride at the Bolshoi Theatre of Drama in Leningrad (1935) and The Fiery Heart at the Pushkin Theatre of Drama in Leningrad (1943). Taught at the Leningrad School of Art and Industry (1948–54). Wrote and illustrated his own books (1927–29) and published memoirs (1977). Died in Leningrad and buried at Komarovo Cemetery (1971). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1914), including the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris (1937, grand prix). Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1967).

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