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LEV RUSSOV (1926 - 1987)

Lev Alexandrovich Russov was born on January 31, 1926 in Leningrad in a family of employees.

His father, Alexander Semionovich Russov, came from peasants from the Nizhny Novgorod governorate, his mother Iraida Semionovna Nemtsova was from Kostroma. In 1939, a passion for drawing led Russov to the art studio in the Vyborgsky district of Leningrad, where he participated until the outbreak of war.

In December 1941, together with his mother, he was evacuated from the siege of Leningrad in Gorky province. 

Soon he had an accident that could change the fate of the future artist. In not entirely clear circumstances, Russov lost his right eye. 

According to the artist's son, this happened because of a careless whip strike. 

However, already in 1943, he moved to the city of Kostroma, where he attends the regional art school.

Tavricheskaya Art School Building at 35 Tavricheskaya Street.

In 1945, in connection with the return to Leningrad, Russov was transferred to the Tavricheskaya School of Art (now known as the School of Art named after Nicholas Roerich), from which he graduated in 1947.

After graduation, Russov entered the first course of the Painting Department of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after Ilya Repin, studied with Yuri Neprintsev and Genrikh Pavlovsky.

However, after studying for two years for health reasons, he had to drop out of class. In 1951-1955, Russov taught drawing in Leningrad secondary schools, while continuing to work on his painting skills using the experience gained while studying at the Academy.

Soon, Russov shows his work in the Leningrad Union of Artists and is invited to participate in art exhibitions together with the leading Leningrad masters of fine arts. 

At the spring art exhibitions of 1954 and 1955, he presented A Girl with a Lasso (1954), A Boy and a Sea, and Portrait of Artist Veniamin Kremer (both 1955) to draw attention to himself as a talented portraitist.

Leningrad Artists Union Building at 38 Bolshaya Morskaya Street
In 1955, Russov was admitted to the Leningrad Union of Soviet Artists on the recommendation of the famous painters Pyotr Buchkin, Yuri Neprintsev and Veniamin Kremer. 

In addition to portraits, Russov during these years painted genre compositions, still lifes, landscapes, worked in the technique of oil painting, watercolors and woodcuts.

The year 1955 was marked for Russov by encounters with people who changed his personal and creative destiny. 

He meets Ekaterina Vasilievna Balebina (born December 29, 1933, daughter of Vasily Balebin, the famous shortstop, hero of the Soviet Union), who will soon become his wife, the mother of his son Andrei, and the main muse. 

Charming and vivacious, full of self-sacrifice, he will serve for Russov as a model for many paintings and portraits, create and protect the world in which the artist's creative gift will unfold and shine in full force.

In the same year, Lev Russov met with Yevgeny Mravinsky, their relationship turned into a long-standing friendship, to which we owe several portraits of the outstanding director, created during the 1950-1980s.

In 1960-1980, Russov's creative life was divided between the Leningrad art studio, the house on Fonarny Lane and the village of Pavshino on the Oredezh River, where on the upper bank of the river he built a country house with a workshop and worked many months each. year.

Lev Alexsandrovich Russov died on February 20, 1987 in Leningrad in the sixty-second year of his life due to heart disease. 

His works reside in museums and private collections in Russia, the United States, Norway, Great Britain, Sweden, France and other countries. 

The artist's widow Ekaterina Vasilievna Russov outlived her husband by 15 years and died on June 20, 2002 in St. Petersburg at the age of sixty-nine.

In 1970, at the Leningrad Physical-Technical Institute named after A.F. Ioffe, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, consisted of the only lifetime exhibition of Russov's works.

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