m a r c h 1,  2012

On the eve of the forthcoming Russian presidential elections I would like to reproduce a work by Pavel Iosifovich Spassky and in this way to introduce a great professional artist, one of a large group of practically unknown Russian artists who have, alas, remained outside the scope of domestic art studies.

Pavel Spassky was born in the town of Sudzha, Kursk Gubernia, in 1889. He came to St. Petersburg in 1906, enrolled in the art school of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and, after finishing it, continued his studies at the Academy of Arts. From 1910 he was prolific in monumental art, taking part in wall painting in numerous houses built by Zholtovsky, Shchusev and other renowned architects. Painting the house of Tarasov on Spiridonovka Street under the supervision of I.I. Nivinsky was one of Spassky’s early works. Spassky also took part in painting the ceilings and friezes at the Museum of Fine Arts on Volkhonka Street (now the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts). In 1913 he was involved in painting the Bryansk Railway Station (the Kiev Railway Station from 1934) built by I.I. Rerberg in Moscow. In 1914-1915 Spassky restored frescoes in the Moscow University conference hall. Then he served in the army and fought in the First World War. In 1917 he was a secretary of the arts commission of the Culture and Education Department of the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, the commission chaired by Kasimir Malevich.

image320 No contrary votes…

Spassky contributed to the exhibitions of the Zhar-tsvet (Fire Color) association and tried his hand at stage design, decorative and applied arts and lubok prints. In 1925 he was awarded three (gold, silver and bronze) medals at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris. Yet, monumental art mattered the most to him. He was actively involved in painting the pavilions of the Agricultural Exhibition and in restoring the ceiling paintings in the palace of the Neskuchny (Jolly) Garden. In 1941-1942 he took part in the restoration of the ceiling painting of the Bolshoi Theater hall. Subsequently, he did a great deal of restoration work in Moscow’s historical buildings, including the Leo Tolstoy House Museum and the Khrushchev-Seleznev mansion house on Prechistenka Street.

Please note the text below the picture:

No contrary votes,

The meeting’s outcome is clear:

Akulina’s been elected to the rural Soviet

By unanimous vote.

I think it’s very relevant. What will be our election outcome, I wonder?