Nikolaus Sagrekow

Born: 1897, Saratov
Died: 1992, Berlin

Painter, graphic artist, architect, teacher. Born Nikolai Zagrekov to Russian lawyer Alexander Zagrekov and his wife Maria Tokareva in Saratov (1897). Studied under Fyodor Korneyev at the Alexei Bogolyubov School of Drawing (1914–18) and Alexei Karev and Alexander Savinov at the State Free Art Studios in Saratov (1918–21). Married Volga German artist and fellow student Gertrude Haller (1919). Moved to Moscow (1919), where he studied under Pyotr Konchalovsky and Ilya Mashkov at the VKhUTEMAS and in the studio of Dmitry Kardovsky (1919–21). Emigrated to live with his wife’s relatives in Riga (1921) and Berlin (1922). Rented a flat in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin (1922) and enrolled at the Gewerbeschule für Kunst und Handwerk, where he studied under Harold Bengen (from 1922) and eventually became a member of staff (1925). Sacked by the Nazis after the passing of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (1933). Found work in a private school of plein-air painting headed by Jürgen Spiro (1934), who later emigrated (1937), leaving him as director (1937–44). Designed and built a three-storey house with a studio and picture gallery on the ground floor in the Spandau district of Berlin (1935–39). Member of the Inselgruppe (1938–44). Divorced Gertrude Haller (1942) and married his student Annemarie Hahn (1944), who moved to Australia after the breakdown of their marriage (1946). Lost his house to the Red Army, who turned it into the headquarters of the occupying Soviet forces (1945). Commissioned to paint twelve portraits of Russian generals, including Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky (1945–48). Found himself in West Berlin after the division of the city (1948). Married artist’s widow Rosi Duller (1948). Elected deputy chairman of the Verein Berliner Künstler (1950) and awarded West German citizenship (1952). Painted landscapes, still-lifes and portraits (1950s). Principal architect of the Glockenturmstrasse district in Berlin, where he restored and rebuilt some thirty houses (1960s). Painted portraits of German politicians Friedrich Ebert (1972), Willy Brandt (1976) and Walter Scheel (1976). Elected an honorary member of the Accademia Italia delle Arti e del Lavoro (1979), decorated by the Europäischer Kulturkreis Baden-Baden (1980), awarded the Premio Palma d’Oro d’Europa Assegnato all’Artista from the Accademia Europa in Italy (1986). Died at the age of ninety-five at home in Berlin (1992).

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