Nikolayevich Yakovlev

Russia • 1890−1972

[5 (17) .9. 1890, Moscow, December 8, 1972, ibid.].

Soviet painter, people's artist of the RSFSR (1962), corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1958). Member of the CPSU since 1960.

He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1915-13) under A. M. Vasnetsov and A. S. Stepanov. Member of the AHRR (1922-32).

He taught at VGIKs (1956-63, professor since 1960).

The founder of the Soviet industrial landscape ("Transport is getting better," 1923, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; "Cranes are advancing," 1958-59, Russian Museum, Leningrad, etc.).

Yakovlev's works are distinguished by a wide manner of writing, pasty texture.

In the 1920s, civil war ended in Soviet Russia. The workers and peasants of the young republic defeated the struggle against internal counter-revolution and foreign interventionists. The remnants of the white armies and interventionists were thrown from Soviet soil. A new era has come - the era of creative labor. And those who yesterday defended the conquests of October with weapons in their hands took up the restoration of the national economy, which fell into terrible decline as a result of two wars - the world imperialist and civil. In the very heat of building a new life, one of the most active artists among those who considered it their civic duty to capture historical time was Boris Nikolayevich Yakovlev (1890 - 1972), who later became a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Arts, people's artist of the RSFSR, professor. He created a wonderful picture "Transport is getting better" (1923) and became the founder of the Soviet industrial landscape.

... Railway tracks and steam locomotives in pairs near the depot of one of the Moscow Region stations. Early hour, people rush to work. After many years of inaction, devastation, life is getting better: steel lines running away into the horizon and power poles, locomotive smoke, a broad perspective - all this conveys a new feeling, speaks of the labor enthusiasm of the working class, by whose efforts the country's national economy was built. This painting by Yakovlev at the same time testified to the significant changes that occurred in Soviet art. For the first time, the artist turned to a new type of landscape, which embodies the beauty of work and the pathos of socialist construction.

B.N. Yakovlev - a native of the city of Moscow. In 1917 he graduated from Moscow University, and then - Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. His teachers were A.M. Vasnetsov and A.S. Stepanov. Mentors of the young artist were representatives of Russian-realistic art. From them, Yakovlev adopted the wonderful national traditions of landscape painting. And it is natural that when the progressive realistic Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AHXR) was created, B.N. Yakovlev was one of its first organizers.

The thirst for learning new things, the desire to see and transfer to the canvas previously unnoticed, lead Yakovlev to the idea of the need for a deep study of life. And the artist makes long trips around the country. In 1925 he visited Samarkand, in 1928 - in the Crimea, 1929 - in Baku, 1930 - in Leningrad, at the Baltic Plant, 1931 - at Svirstroy, 1932 - in Maykop, 1933 - in Georgia, on the Suramsky pass ... Two trips he commits to the Urals (1933 and 1934). In 1935, the artist went to Dagestan, and in 1936 - to Karelia ... And from everywhere Yakovlev brought dozens of field studies, on the basis of which he created new works. In them, the artist glorifies the wet power of a Soviet person who transforms nature. So there were pictures: "A mast in the mountains", "In the Urals", "Construction of a working village", "Forest removal", "Descent of a timber truck". "Road to construction", "Cranes", "Shipyard. Baltic Plant", "Magnesite Mine" ...

Yakovlev enthusiastically works on the architectural landscape. In his work there are many paintings dedicated to Red Square. The paintings dedicated to the main square of the country belong to the best creations of the artist. In them he embodied the patriotic feelings of love for the motherland. Indeed, it is precisely with this central square of the capital that many remarkable events in the history of our Motherland are connected. On this square, Soviet people more than once heard the fiery speeches of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, and this square is infinitely dear to all progressive people of the world by the fact that the Lenin Mausoleum is located here.

The gloomy Moscow of 1942 rises from Yakovleva’s painting “Military Moscow”. Tanks were advancing along the snowy Red Square to the front. Red Square looked majestic in Yakovlev’s Winter Kremlin (1947). Strict outlines of the Kremlin wall, the Mausoleum and silver stands, Spasskaya tower and the unique ensemble of St. Basil's Cathedral. A year later - in 1948 - the artist again painted Red Square. But this time he enlarges the scale, brings closer to the viewer the expressive silhouettes of the Mausoleum, Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil's Cathedral. The Kremlin wall and the snow-white stands remained outside the picture. And another view of this heroic square, such as it was captured by Yakovlev in the same 1948: the Mausoleum, the Kremlin wall and the snow-covered fir trees are large-scaled ...

The series of Yakovlev’s paintings on Red Square is a peculiar poetic symbol of the greatness of the Soviet country.

Yakovlev was a subtle master of the lyrical landscape. In 1061, he created Karina "Spring in Aodmoskovye." Painting is often compared to music. This comparison is applicable to the work of Yakovlev - so inherent in his painting is a sense of rhythm, a special "melodiousness" of colors. The purity of tone, light, and sun gave water to the early spring of the Moscow Region, when slender, birch-looking birch trees bloom swollen reddish buds. The life of Central Russian nature attracts the artist with motives familiar from childhood. In addition to the gentle sunny spring, Yakovlev admires the beauty of an autumn day, when the trees are covered in scarlet (Golden Autumn, October), and fanciful snowy roads ("Forest removal"). He also painted the nature of the mountainous Urals with lush, swift rivers, peculiar landscapes of the south of Russia or Central Asia ... And he always remained a master with his own understanding of the world.

A series of landscapes created by Yakovlev in the Lenin Hills. He enthusiastically wrote the places where Vladimir Ilyich spent the last years of his life. So there are succulent, temperamentally painted landscapes depicting an old park, an alley in Gorki, a house in Goki, the Pakhra river, spring in Gorki ... Yakovlev often wrote and still lifes. Bright sonorous flowers ("Bird cherry and kupavka", "Roses" and many others) expressed an optimistic perception of life, the joy of life.

During the Great Patriotic War B.N. Yakovlev creates a number of expressive compositions. In addition to the already mentioned canvas, depicting Red Square in 1942, the artist performed the painting "Pushkin Square on the night of the air raid". Yakovlev saw the indissoluble connection of the past with the present. Rainy night, dull dark sky and sharp black-blue shadows falling on the monument of the greatest Russian poet. The monument is illuminated by the glare of searchlights and flashes of anti-aircraft guns. In the formidable landscape of the war, the image of the great Pushkin, as it were, again reminded of Moscow, of the greatness of Russian culture.

B.N. Yakovlev was an artist and poet. And this he conveyed his poetic perception of the world in the lyrical and industrial landscapes of the Motherland.

(from the book of A. Berezin "Voronovo. Art Gallery". 1978)

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