Vasily Helmersen

Born: 1873, St Petersburg
Died: 1937, Sandarmokh (Karelia)

Graphic artist, illustrator, silhouettist. Born in the family of a Baltic German nobleman called Vasily Helmersen (1873). Studied law at St Petersburg University. Served in the Imperial Ministry of the Court. Worked as a librarian in the Hermitage, research assistant of the Russian Museum (1923–25). Did not receive any special art education. Illustrated the works of Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Alexei Tolstoy, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller. Designed children’s books and ex libris (1920s). Arrested and sent to work on the White Sea-Baltic Canal (1929). Rearrested (1937) and executed in Sandarmokh near the small town of Povenets in Karelia (1937).

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