Biography and information

Porfiry Krylov (9 (22) August 1902 — 15 May 1990) was a Soviet painter and graphic artist, member of the Kukryniksy creative group. People’s He was the People’s Artist of the USSR (1958), full member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1947). Laureate of Lenin Prize (1965), five Stalin Prizes (1942, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951), USSR State Prize (1975) and a Hero of Socialist Labour (1972).
Porfiry Krylov was born in the village of Shchelkunovo (now the Bogoroditsky District). He studied at the factory art studio directed by G. M. Shegal, then entered the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops (VKHUTEMAS), where he studied with A. A. Osmerkin, A. V. Shevchenko, from 1921 to 1928; in graduate school he studied with P. P. Konchalovsky.
P. N. Krylov died on 15 May 1990. He was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy cemetery.
Porfiry Nikitich’s son, Andrei, also became an artist.
Already in the 1920s, Krylov painted portraits, landscapes, still lifes and the modern genre with equal interest. The motives of his paintings are simple, but in this simplicity, Krylov reveals the meaningful subtle beauty being the charm of all that exists, and which can only be seen by a thoughtful look. In his paintings, he conveys the thrill of life itself. Krylov even painted a blossoming bouquet of wildflowers in a kind of whirlwind burst. He complicates and emphasizes the contrast in drawing and colour and at the same time unites them with intense dense painting.
He worked on large genre paintings with his inseparable comrades M. V. Kupriyanov and N. A. Sokolov. Together they formed the famous Kukryniksy creative group, and the three of them carried out intense publicistic work. Caricature, book illustration, historical paintings and landscapes — all genres of the artists’ creativity are marked by brilliant success.
The artistic skill of the Kukryniksy was noted by critics back in the 1930s. The guarantee of their triumph was the unity of their views and taste, as well as strong friendship. However, the artist created many independent works, chamber ones in their nature. He travelled a lot and painted in the open air. His favourite places were on the Oka River, in Polenov, Kostroma, at the Academic dacha, in Abramtsevo, Koktebel. The artist’s landscapes testify to his deep sense of nature. He attached importance not only to the general atmosphere of the landscape, its light, colour, rhythmic structure, but also to the subject composition of the basic image of the composition. The sketches that he painted in Bulgaria, Italy and France are wonderful. Krylov was interested in soft sliding or sharp impacts of light, and finally, the light-air medium itself. The artist’s still lifes are unusually subtle and picturesque.
P. N. Krylov’s works have been exhibited at many art exhibitions in Russia and abroad. They are in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the P. N. Krylov Art Museum in Tula, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and other foreign museums and private collections.