Nathan Isaevich

Ukraine • 1889−1970

In 1907 he graduated from Odessa HUD. school, 1918-1921 member of the Board of the Department of fine arts Narcompros, one of the organizers of the Proletkult and active essestial Lenin's plan of monumental propaganda. Concocted a series of portrait busts of the leaders of the revolution, drew sketches of the coat of arms and flag of the RSFSR. Honored artist of the RSFSR.

Born in the province and who lost his father early, N. Altman achieved everything on their own, and thanks to the talent. He studied at the Odessa art school (1902-07), but left it, not satisfied with teaching, and returned to Vinnitsa, where he began to work independently.


At the end of 1910 he was able to go to Paris and stayed there eleven months, but the experience obtained by him was enough to complete professional formation and to determine their own path in art. Phenomenal natural sensitivity allowed Altman to pick up quickly and seamlessly absorb relevant artistic ideas of his time, and rare congenital professionalism is immediately to put these ideas in very artistic and elegant, easy manner, no matter what field of work it is not treated.


In late 1912 the young artist moved to St. Petersburg, where, a kind of applying methods recently originated in France of cubism, in a short time has become one of the most notable painters. The famous "Portrait of the poetess Anna Akhmatova" (1914) strengthened his fame. Equally successful were his experiments in sculpture ("Portrait", 1916), graphics (cycle "the Jewish graphics" on the grounds of grave reliefs, 1914) and set design (play "the Miracle of St. Anthony" by M. Maeterlinck in the Petrograd literary-artistic club-cafe "Halt comedians", 1916).


After the October revolution Altman, as most artists of the "left" direction, he developed an intense social activity, and he productively worked have done a number of sculptures, engaged in industrial graphics (sketches stamps), created a known project festive decoration Uritsky square (Palace) in Petrograd, 7 November 1918, made a series of expressive portrait sketches of Lenin, published the album and became popular.


Techniques are carefully studied and skillfully applied Suprematism he used in the cycle of non-objective paintings: "Patrolman", "Material selection", "Russia. Work", etc. (1919-21). But in later years he concentrated his efforts on the chart - easel (a series of portraits of contemporary writers, 1926-27) and a book, which quickly managed to develop its own sharp, memorable style.


Especially fruitful was his work in the theater. Work with an outstanding Director E. B. Vakhtangov on the historical play by An-sky "Gadibuk" (theater-Studio "Habima", 1921) and then the collaboration with Rosatom ("Uriel Acosta" K. Guskova, 1922; "the Marriage of Truadeka" on the play by J. Romaine, 1927, etc.) established his reputation as a major theatre artist.


In the spring of 1928 Altman went to the theater on tour in Europe and after the end of the tour stayed in France. Familiarization with the processes taking place in modern French art, led him to return to painting. The artist painted a large number of landscapes and still lifes, in which he subtly and kind of revived the tradition of impressionism. While Altman was still master of all trades: well-designed several children's books, produced very interesting illustrations to the "St. Petersburg stories" N. Gogol (1933-34, published in 1937) and a series of lithographs on the themes of the old Testament, and was engaged in the design and decoration of interiors.


Returning home in 1935, Altman got in a difficult political atmosphere of ideological pressure and terror unfolding. His painting so did not meet the criteria implement a socialist realism that he was forced to leave her and only deal with scenography and book graphics, where some specific work to some extent, avoided ideological NIT-picking and be less noticeable. Among his creations of the time was allocated to the scenery to the well-known Shakespearean plays staged by Leningrad theater (GBT - "King Lear", 1941; the drama Theatre. As Pushkin - "Othello", 1944, "hamlet", 1954), the costumes for the film "don Quixote" (1955), illustrations for the works of Sholom Aleichem, V. Blasco ibañez, E. Castro, E. Zola and others In the last years of his life, Altman has created several easel pictorial compositions on motives of the former scene and costume designs.

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