Pavel Basmanov

Born: 1906, Batalovo (Tomsk Province)
Died: 1993, St Petersburg
Painter, graphic artist, illustrator. Elder brother of the poet and diplomat Mikhail Basmanov (1918–2006). Born in the village of Batalovo in the Altai in the family of a peasant called Ivan Basmanov (1906). Studied at Barnaul Grammar School (1917–19) and under Andrei Nikulin, Mikhail Kurzin and Elena Korovai at the Altai Provincial Studios of Art and Industry (1920–22). Moved to Petrograd (1922), where he studied poster art and printing under Mikhail Avilov, Yevgeny Belukha and Alfred Eberling at the Technical College of Art and Industry (1922–27). Attended Paul Mansouroff’s studio (1924–25) and took up painting under the guidance of Vladimir Sterligov (1930). Member of Four Arts (1927), Circle of Artists (1932) and the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists (1932). Worked under Vladimir Lebedev at the department of children’s literature of the State Publishing House (1928–33). Illustrated Georgy Kuklin’s Igrenka (1929), Olga Bergholz’s The Felt Boot Rollers from the Altai Mountains (1934), Vsyevolod Ivanov’s Selected Works (1937), Martin Andersen Nexø’s Vejs Ende (1940), Alexei Tolstoy’s The Road to Calvary (1940), Veniamin Kaverin’s The Russian Boy (1946) and Alexander Prokofiev’s Compositions (1957) and Lyric Poetry (1961). Worked on such watercolour series as Old Siberia (1931–34), Promenades (1931–37) and Labour and Relaxation in the Collective Farm (1935–41, 1946–61) and such graphic series as In the Garden (1956), On the Street (1956) and Landscapes of Leningrad and its Suburbs (1958–61). Arrested along with Vladimir Sterligov and Vera Yermolaeva (1934) and spent three months in prison (1934–35). Served as an intelligence officer during the Second World War (1941–45), taking part in the Battle of Berlin (1945). Worked as an artistic consultant at the Beacon Factory (1950s–70s). Married the artist Natalia Lang (1906–2000) and had a daughter called Marianna (1938), who was the common-law wife of poet Joseph Brodsky (1962–72). Died in St Petersburg (1993). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1935). Contributed to the First Exhibition of Works by Leningrad Artists (1935), Sixth Exhibition of Works by Leningrad Artists (1940), Exhibition of Book Graphic Art (1953), Autumn Exhibitions of Works by Leningrad Artists (1956, 1958), Exhibitions of Leningrad Book Graphic Art (1959, 1962, 1965), Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings by Leningrad Artists in Kiev (1938), Exhibition of Graphic Art by Leningrad Artists in Pskov (1940) and one-man shows at the Union of Artists in Leningrad (1940), Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (1983), Russian Museum in St Petersburg (1996) and the Nizhny Tagil Municipal Museum of Fine Arts (2009).

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