*** artists illustrating boys fashions: Nikolay Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky

Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Nikolay Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (Russia, 1868-1945)

Russian peasant children

Figure 1.--Nikolay Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky is primarily noted for his genre work. He was particularly interested in peasant children. He painted this view of peasant children in 1910. Notably this was before the Revolution. Even so, he was targeted by the Communists.

Nikolay Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945) was a Russian artist. He was born in the village of Shitiki in Smolensk Governorate (1868). Nikolai as a child experienced abject poverty. One source describes a childhood tht was 'harsh and unforgiving'. He studied art at the Semyon Rachinsky fine art school. He ha a destinctive range of interests. He studied icon-painting at the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (1883). Icon painting was destictively Russian. He then showed his range of intersts by studying modern painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1884-1889). Finally he studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1894-95. He began his career at private studios in Paris (late 1890s). This was part work and part study. His body of work is diverse. We notice portraits, genre work, still lifes, and land scapes. He was especially devoted to genre paintings, especially scenes involving peasant children. He seems to have been especially interested in the education of peasant children. He painted several well-regarded images of rural schools with peasant children. Not only are the children depictec with grrat sympathy, but teachers are shown with particular respect. A good examole is 'The patient teacher'. He also did impressionistic landscapes. Bogdanov-Belsky combined en plein-air subject matter, color and stroke into an academic framework. He combined both rural and urban subjects in many of his paintings. We note a painting of three peasant boys dated 1910, just before World War I figure 1). He belonged to several respected societies, including the Perdvizhniki (1895). He was a founding member of the Arkhip Kuindzhi Society (1909). He became a pedagogue and academician (1903). He became an active member of the Academy of Arts (1914). Like many other Russian, World War I changed everything. After World War I he apparently fled the Communists, settlinling in Riga, Latvia (!921). One source said that the Bolshviks disapproved of his realist art. We don't fully understand this as we thought the Soviets insisted on realism. Perhaps this was more of a Stakinist view. It may have been more that he never fully recovered from the shock of the Revolution. And could not just to the new way of like under Communism. Bogdanov-Belsky worked in Latvia for the rest of his active life (after 1923). He joined the Russian Fraternitas Arctica in Riga. He apparently fled to Germany as the Red Army moved back into Latvia (1944). There were not a lot of Russians seeking refuge in Germany at the time. This was probablhy largely because his wife was an ethnic German. Bogdanov-Belsky was not in good health. He died in Berlin, apparently killed as aesuklt of an Allied bombing raid (1945).


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Created: 8:20 PM 10/20/2012
Last updated: 4:35 AM 4/11/2023