Nikolai Tyrsa

Born: 1887, Aralykh (Armenia)
Died: 1942, Vologda

Painter, graphic artist, lithographer, illustrator, designer, applied artist, teacher. Born in the family of an officer called Andrei Tyrsa in the village of Aralykh (now Aralyk) in Armenia (1887). Studied architecture at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1905–09, with intervals and without graduating), under Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Art (1907–10) and in Johann Wilhelm Mathé’s etching studio. Member of the World of Art (1915), Union of Youth (1916–18), Freedom for Art (1917), Unification of New Tendencies in Art (1922) and Four Arts (1926). Director of the Petrograd Free Art Studios (1918–22) and the VKhUTEMAS. Oversaw the merger of the VKhUTEMAS with the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and the Academy of Arts. Taught drawing and watercolour painting at the Leningrad Institute of Civil Engineers/Leningrad Institute of Engineers of Communal Construction (1924–41), Night-Class Institute of Building/Leningrad Institute of Engineers of Industrial Construction (1931–37), Ilya Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1932–36) and Kiev Institute of Art (1938–39). Worked for the department of children’s and young people’s literature, State Publishing House, Leningrad (from 1925). Switched from watercolours to oil painting (late 1920s–early 1930s). Founding member of the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists (1932). Worked for the experimental lithographic studio of the Leningrad branch of the Union of Artists (1933–40) and for Battle Pencil (1941). Evacuated from Leningrad (1942). Died in a hospital in Vologda (1942). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1910). Contributed to the exhibitions of the World of Art (1915, 1916), Unification of New Trends in Art (1922) and Four Arts (1926–28).

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