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 Fyodor Bogorodsky


Born:   May 21 (on June 2) 1895
Deceased:   November 3, 1959

Soviet artist, mostly well-known for his paintings of revolutionary sailors

      

Fyodor Bogorodsky was born on June 2, 1895 into the family of a lawyer in Nizhny Novgorod. The boy studied in a classical school and from the age of 12 was trained in drawing: at first by the local artist V. A. Likin and in L. M. Diamant’s private studio, and in M. V. Leblan's studio in 1914 — 1916. After finishing school in 1914 he left for Moscow.
 
Fyodor Bogorodsky studied at the Law Faculty of the Moscow University. A fan of futurism, he was on friendly terms with the futurist poets Velimir Khlebnikov, Nikolai Aseev and Vladimir Mayakovsky. While studying to become a lawyer, he at the same time performed as a dancer and a circus actor and wrote poetry. In 1916 he found himself in the army, first as the Baltic sailor and then as a pilot.
 
After the revolution he worked in the All-Russian Extraordniary Commission in Moscow. In 1918 he was sent home, to Nizhny Novgorod, where he worked as an assistant of the chairman of the investigation committee of Cheka and then in the political department of the Volga military flotilla.
 
In 1919 he served at the frontline as the commander of sailor detachment of the Don and Volga-Caspian military flotillas. He participated in battles on the Volga River, near Tsaritsyn. After being contused in 1920 he was sent to Nizhny Novgorod to head the Art Department, and for two years lived in his family home in Ulyanov Street.
 
In 1922 he moved to Moscow and entered the VKHUTEMAS (Higher Art and Technical Studios), where he studied in A. E. Arkhipov's course from 1922 to 1924. He published his first collection of poetry in 1922. He graduated from the Higher Art and Technical Institute in 1927 and was granted a trip abroad.
 
He was a member of the art groups Life (1922), Fire Color (1925) and the Association of Artists of the Revolutionary Russia. From 1928 to 1930 the artist lived in Italy and Germany and was a long-time guest of Maxim Gorky in Sorrento. The original portrait of the writer painted by Fyodor Bogorodsky has not come down to us, but is known thanks to its replicas. Then he returned to Russia, and often visited the Black Sea Fleet, which inspired him for new paintings.
 
The artist’s most characteristic works are the images of the Civil War seamen. His series of portraits of homeless people is also widely known.
 
Fyodor Bogorodsky was very much into teaching: he was a professor (1939) and the head of the Painting Department (1938 — 1959) in VGIK. In addition to that, he was a corresponding member of the Arts Academy of the USSR (1947) and chairman of the board of the Moscow Regional Union of Artists (1955 — 1958).
 
Fyodor Bogorodsky died on November 3, 1959 and was laid down to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.


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