A large collection of works by the famous Russian and Soviet painter Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov is collected in the Memorial Art Museum, created during the years of Soviet power, in his hometown of Michurinsk, where every resident knows about it.
And once, back in 1881, when the city of Kozlov, Tambov province, was still called Michurinsk, on August 12 a boy, Sasha, was born in the most ordinary family of the merchant Mikhail Safronovich Gerasimov. He receives primary education at a local school and finishes it in 1895, by the way, with a rating of “satisfactory,” that is, with a triple (!) Of drawing.
At 22, Alexander left for Moscow to survive a huge competition and enter one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Russia - the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
Twelve years of study, from 1903 to 1915, with such great artists as K. Korovin, V. Serov, the Wanderer A. Arkhipov, were not in vain. He writes a number of interesting paintings in his favorite style - impressionism. Such, for example, is the "Portrait of Nadezhda Gilyarovskaya", made in 1912.
Graduation is marked by brilliant results - Gerasimov leaves the walls of the school with diplomas and artist and architect.
In 1915, Alexander was drafted into the army and until 1918 he served as a medical orderly at the front. Having been demobilized and married, Gerasimov lived with his family for several years and worked as a decorator in his native Kozlov, but in 1925 he moved and settled in Moscow.
Alexander understands and accepts the revolution. He enters into a powerful creative association of that time - the Association of Artists of the Revolution, an analogue of the future Union of Artists of the USSR, works as a teacher at the Moscow Art School, created in 1925 in memory of the events of 1905.
His works in the genre of socialist realism are understandable to people of the Soviet country, his paintings are vivid, with revolutionary and socialist pathetics adopted at that time. Gerasimov becomes famous due to the fact that he paints portraits of Lenin, Voroshilov, Stalin. His career as an artist and social activist went up.
- 1934 - a long creative trip to Europe and Turkey.
- 1936 - awarded the state award of the RSFSR, the title for special merits in art.
- 1939-1954 - Chairman of the Creative Union of Artists and Art Experts.
- 1941-1949 - he received four prizes of 1 and 2 degrees named after Stalin.
- 1943 - one of the first, awarded the title of People's Artist. In the same year, he transferred personal 50,000 rubles to a special fund for the needs of the front.
Ten years, from 1947 to 1957, he is the first president of the Academy of Arts in the Soviet Union. At the age of 70 - receives the degree of Doctor of Arts. Gerasimov is friendly with Marshal Voroshilov, we love Stalin for his portraits and work on topics dedicated to the Soviet country.
But the genius of a creative person, especially an artist, does not depend on the time in which he lives. It depends on the soul invested by the author in his work. It is worth paying attention to how human and kind the people he portrays, even if they are military men or politicians, such as on the canvas "Stalin and Gorky in Gorki" and others.
Alexander Mikhailovich is not only a portrait painter for the party elite, he writes lyrical and colorful landscapes, magnificent still lifes. His famous illustrations to Gogol's Taras Bulba are talented. The Drama Theater in Michurinsk, designed by Gerasimov, still pleases the audience.
In 1961, the artist received his last order for labor services to the USSR, since with the advent of N. S. Khrushchev, Alexander Mikhailovich was gradually stripped of all posts and posts. And even his paintings are removed from museums. In July 1963, at the age of 82, Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov died.
But the work of the largest artist of the Soviet Union is not forgotten, as history and time put everything in its place. A large number of his paintings, and the painter created more than two thousand of them, today are masterpieces of Soviet art and have their own artistic value.
The expositions of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum, private collections and, of course, the Michurinsky Museum exhibit works by Gerasimov, and there is always a spectator who can appreciate real talent near his paintings.