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The Russian Museum

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22 April - 07 June 2010
Stroganov Palace

The exhibition of Nikolai Smirnov (1938 - 2005) includes nearly 30 works from the Leonid Shishkin's Gallery (Moscow) and the private collections of Russia and foreign countries.
Nikolai Smirnov is the truly unique artist. The art historian by education, he became to work as the professional painter at the age of 39. He created his own way in the art - the so-called historical still life or, according to the painter's definition, "the historical theatre of the things". He worked as the painter comparatively not long - just more than twenty five years. For these years he had time to create the works which acquired the world recognition and instantly turned into the object of collection. Every painting required the enormous expenditure of the time and labor. Smirnov created not more than two works in a year, and some works had been painted during two years or a year and a half. The technique of creation of his historical still lifes is similar with the icon-painting. The base of these works is the wood with the canvas upon, covered with the levkas. The final variant of image was created with the using of tempera and tiny brushes. The main theme of his art is the history of the Russian culture, reflected in the representation of the things of the passed epochs.
On the exhibition there are presented the early Nikolai Smirnov's works ("Pushkin's Pages", "The Memories about Pavlovsk"), the works of the 1990's ("Recollection about Alexander Vertinsky", "In memory of Mikhail Kutuzov", "Romeo and Juliette"), and also the paintings, executed in the last years of his life.