(1901, Kharkov - 1968, Moscow)
Russian Soviet artist and director. People's Artist of the USSR (1960).
In 1914 he studied at the evening drawing school of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists, in 1915 he took lessons in the studio of S.M. Zaydenberg, in 1916 - 1918 he studied at the New Art Studio under the guidance of M. Dobuzhinsky, A. Yakovlev, V. Shukhaev.
His first independent directorial performance, Hamlet, staged in 1932
at the Moscow Theater. Evgeny Vakhtangova. The performance was accused of formalism,
in rivalry with Shakespeare and a lack of understanding of the internal development of the play.
In 1935, Akimov headed the Leningrad Satire Theater, which received a new name - Comedy Theater. At this time, his friendship with the playwright E. Schwartz begins.
In 1949, devastating articles on his performances appeared in the press, Akimov was openly called a cosmopolitan and formalist, he was forbidden to stage performances.
From 1954 to 1968, Akimov taught at the Leningrad State Institute of Theater, Music and Cinematography, taught a class and headed the art and production department; professor (1960). In 1956 he returned to the Comedy Theater, which all these years the viewer called "Akimov".
After the death of Akimov, a huge artistic heritage remained.
1. Etkind M.G. N.P. Akimov is an artist. Leningrad. 1960
2. Etkind M.G. Nikolay Akimov. Scenography, graphics. Album. Moscow. 1980
3. Roitenberg O. Really someone remembered that we were ... From the history of artistic life. 1925 - 1935. Moscow. 2004
4. Oves L.S. Stage artists. The legacy of the St. Petersburg State Academic Tetra of Opera and Ballet. M.P. Musorsky. St. Petersburg. FACE. 2004
5. Boult E. D., Lobanov-Rostovsky N. D. Artists of the Russian theater 1880 - 1930.
The catalog is reasonable. Moscow. Art. 1994
6. Lander I.G., Maho P.G. (compilers). Nikolai Pavlovich Akimov. Album. St. Petersburg. 2008
7. Makedonskaya E.I., Martsevich Yu.P. (compilers). Catalog of the exhibition of book signs. From the collection of People's Artist of the USSR B. Tenin Moscow. The science. 1985
N.P. Akimov came to St. Petersburg very young, and almost his whole life was firmly connected with this city.
He studied at the studio of S. M. Seidenberg (1915-18), a few years later he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, but left it without completing his studies.
He was engaged in book graphics and managed to create a name for himself, but really found himself in the set design. Work in the theater so fascinated him that in the late 1920s. he turned to directing, making it the second, if not the first, profession: in 1933 he headed the Leningrad Music Hall, and in 1935 - the famous Leningrad Comedy Theater, whose artistic director remained until his death (except for 1949-55 . when he was forced to move to another team).
The theater was the true center of Akimov's diverse creative interests. His mischievous and graceful, sometimes paradoxical comedy performances were famous, among them a special place was played by the first interpretations of the plays of fairy tales by E. L. Schwartz.
The scenery and costumes created by Akimov after the war - mostly to his own productions - were invariably distinguished by rare imagination and ingenuity ("Shadows" by M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, 1952; "The Case" by A. V. Sukhove-Kobylin, 1955; " Dragon "by E. L. Schwartz, 1962;" Don Giovanni by J. Byron, 1963). The original posters that he performed for each of his performances were an integral part of urban advertising in the 1930s and 60s.
In a huge series of pictorial and graphic portraits created by the master for several decades, preference was given to the people of the theater - actors, directors, playwrights. The themes of theater and drama prevailed in his book graphics, to which he returned to the 1960s. after a long break. It was mainly the problems of the theater that were devoted to it by brilliant polemical articles, which subsequently amounted to two volumes.
A born teacher, Akimov since 1955 taught at the Leningrad Theater Institute at the founded and led by his production department (professor since 1960), where he trained many excellent masters of scenography.
A brilliant and witty man, Akimov entered the artistic elite of his city, determining its high level and unique face.