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Petrovich Theophylactus

Russia • 1878−1941

Graphic artist of the Moscow art Nouveau, symbolist.

Born in Moscow, professional artistic education is not received. Independently studied painting and music. He was fond of Vrubel and graphics Western European Jugendstil.

In 1904 he took part in the exhibition "scarlet rose".

He became friends with the artist "Blue Rose", and participated in their exhibitions. We then tested the effect of graphics O. Beardsley to such an extent that it became known as "Moscow Beardsley", or "bergsmannen". Feofilaktov performed in his Moscow-bagliacca style headpieces, vignettes and artwork of the Moscow symbolist magazine "Vesy". His graphic, slightly diletansky style and themes: morbid imagination, masks, candles, the strange hermaphrodite, asexual puppets, sphinxes and chimeras with bats — was a great success. However, unlike Beardsley, all this was depicted without the tragic anguish, easily and as if in jest, laced with soft, typically the Moscow plasticity and because it looked more artistic.

After 1910 Feofilaktov suddenly "out of fashion" and more was engaged in painting. In 1933-1937 he worked in publishing house "Academia".

"In the back of the room to the right of the entrance, a table with books sent for review; on the edge of the table dangling his legs, sits a plaster nymph; everywhere figurines, trinkets, elegant pieces. Over the Cabinet "between the tables portraits of Maeterlinck, Pshibyshevsky, with his wife, Dostoevsky, Verlaine, Verhaeren, a lot of drawings...

We are gathered here on Tuesday for a friendly chat. No wine, no tea was not supposed to; there was no jokes, no laughter; humor is entirely left in the article. But it was fun to come here! How we love our editors!" So says one of the frequent visitors to the sights and one-bedroom flats on the fifth floor of the Metropole, which housed the editorial office of the magazine "balance".

Artist Nikolai Feofilaktov — "our FeO" as he called it head and the actual editor of "Libra" Valery Bryusov, collaborated in this magazine from the very beginning. Critical period might be the most significant in his work were associated with work in Scales and in General reflected the spirit and strivings of Russian symbolism "second wave".

N. P. Feofilaktov was born in Moscow. The beginning of a "Libra", he managed to finish the Moscow land surveying Institute, but to become a land surveyor is not going to. He worked hard drawing, excitedly read each issue of the magazine "World of art" and soon entered the Art Studio of K. F. Yuon. This time Feofilaktov became friends with the young N. N. Sapunov, S. Sudeikin, P. V. Kuznetsov. Together with these artists, he participated in the open in Saratov in 1904, the exhibition "scarlet rose", and later, with the same group of painters-symbolists, and in the exhibition "Blue rose".

The talent of the young graphic drew the attention of S. P. Diaghilev. This opened the door feofilaktova edition "World of art", where he published his first work. He soon became acquainted with V. Brusov. The recognized head of the Moscow symbolist painter attracted to work in the "Scorpion" and "Libra". Six years of "Libra" were the heyday of graphic talent Feofilaktova. He became a leading artist and the publisher and the journal. In that time Feofilaktov lived under the spell of creativity and personality of the English graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley. No wonder it was called "Moscow Beardsley." About the drag force and Beardsley on "berislavske" period of Russian graphic art in General can be judged according to the memoirs of N. In.Kuzmin, who, like many of his contemporaries shared this passion: "Beardsley died young — twenty-five years from consumption, and in its short life, this young man managed to create a fantastic world of images, compelling and unimaginable... His drawings seemed miraculous to me, their bubbly, dizzy skill cause tetanus profane and an evil surprise of professionals." About Feofilaktova N. In. Kuzmin said, not without irony, he said how about the master, "Beardsley full life". "Birdlines" Feofilaktov learned the lessons of a sophisticated culture "World of art", but he is the representative of the Moscow school of book graphics, St. Petersburg which younger, less strict and canonical, sometimes naive and simple-minded, lyriclee and softer.

One of the first successes Feofilaktova graphic mark of the publishing house "Scorpion". In "Libra" he is not only the author of numerous vignettes, but the magazine covers. Published here, and he made sketches of future releases. Become a "Libra" visible, unlike the others, it was difficult to irreplaceable — there cooperated Bakst, Sapunov, Kgs. And one room is completely designed Borisov-Musatov. Feofilaktov not only managed to find his own face, but in many ways defined the entire graphical appearance of the magazine.

Software product Feofilaktova — sketch cover issue of "Libra", dedicated to Aubrey Beardsley. This sheet is somewhat naive in its saturation berdsleevskimi motifs and images, Moscow's generosity with braided thick, shimmering, whimsical, elegant pattern. But Feofilaktov did not possess the improvisational freedom of their idol. It is most natural it felt when I was not connected rigidly conceived literary reference. Succinctly addressed one of the covers of 1907. Vibrating and trembling, feather artist weaves like a web or lace, which confused the name of the magazine. Point and fractional ornament surrounds the inscription itself, but the word "balance" can be easily read.

Spider patterns, with small star-shaped and floral ornament, with garlands and necklaces often surrounds Feofilaktov figure of his allegorical characters. It's ornamental invention are inexhaustible and varied. However, the vagaries of a capricious Muse Feofilaktova sometimes superimposed on a well thought-out constructive basis. This combination of tectonic harmony of the composition and the ornamental sophistication of its elements built title sheet to the drama Bryusov "Earth" for the anthology "Northern flowers the Assyrian". Here was printed and tragedy of real life. Ivanov's "Tantal" with shmutstitula Feofilaktova. In these studies effect common to many symbolist fascination with the East. Fantastic palms and pomegranate trees reflect the images of Bryusov's poetry was an echo of the experience of the Iranian miniatures. Oriental motifs typical for the art Nouveau in General and book illustrations Feofilaktova — the brainchild of this style. Here a little the deliberate elegance of the ornaments and letter tracings, brittle sharpness of the lines, the fragility and bizarre images.

His large and short-lived fame Feofilaktov received as schedule. However, he always aspired to painting and created many paintings.

After the revolution, he continued to actively work in the book drawing. Here he is a recognized master. Strict restraint and constructive clarity distinguished volume of selected poems by V. Bryusov, released in 1933 by the publishing house "Academia" in the design Feofilaktova. For the same publishers he illustrated Hoffmann, Shakespeare and his favorite author, L. stern. Unfortunately, they made a series of illustrations to "the Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy" (1937) is not preserved.

In the last years of his life Feofilaktov created and paintings. Many of them reflected in a changed form — his long-standing Italian experience. Feofilaktov had been in Italy in the period from 1906 to 1913, and familiarity with the paintings of the great Venetians left an indelible mark on his work.

Feofilaktov died 9 Feb 1941. The style of his graphics exactly fit in the particular period that this artist lives in our minds — "in his time", staying in first place leading bookstore schedule of Moscow the beginning of the century.

(El. Lviv)

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