Nikolai Efimovich Timkov
Nikolai Efimovich Timkov was born August 12, 1912, at a settlement of Nakhichevanskaya Dacha close to Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire. His parents, Efim Yegorovich Timkov and Vasilisa Timofeevna Ablyazova were peasants from the Saratov province. In 1892, they moved to Rostov-on-Don. A father worked as a general worker. The family had four older children. Parents died in 1924, when Nikolai was twelve years old. Care of him took the older sisters.
Wira village. 1956
In 1927, Nikolai Timkov graduated 8 classes of secondary school and enrolled in the Rostov Art College, which was headed by A. Chinenov, who was landscape painter, a pupil of Vasily Polenov and a big fan of Isaac Levitan. In 1930, Timkov graduated from Art College. In 1931, he went to Moscow, where he met with Pavel Radimov and other Moscow artists of AKhR Association (Association of Artists of the Revolution).
Timkov works in "Izogiz" edition as a general worker, then enrolls Association "Vsekohudozhnik" as artist-designer. At the same time he to educate ourselves in the Tretyakov Gallery and much working on plein air, using from time to time the benevolent advice Mikhail Nesterov and Sergey Malyutin. At the Radimov's apartment has been meeting of Nikolai Timkov and Isaak Brodsky, who has played a big role in the fate of the artist. After seeing his work, Brodsky advised Nikolai Timkov to go to Leningrad to continue his art education.
In 1933 Nikolai Timkov together with Alexander Laktionov arrives in Leningrad and entered the painting department of the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the All-Russian Academy of Arts. He studied of Mikhail Bernshtein, Arcady Rylov, Alexander Lubimov, Vladimir Serov. In 1939 Nikolai Timkov graduated from the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Isaak Brodsky workshop with the rank of artist of painting. His degree work was a painting titled "The Day off in suburb". In one year with Timkov Institute graduates Piotr Belousov, Mikhail Kozell, Lev Orekhov, Aleksei Gritsai, Elena Skuin, Gleb Verner, Liya Ostrova, Boris Sherbakov, and other young artists who later became famous Soviet painters and art educators.
Academicheskaya Dacha. 1972
After graduation, Nikolai Timkov was called up for military service in the Baltic Fleet, which continued until 1946. During the Great Patriotic War and blockade Nikolai Timkov was among defenders of Leningrad. During a brief visits to the city, he created a series of graphic works (gouache, watercolor), depicting the Siege of Leningrad (now in the collection of the State Russian Museum and the Museum of the History of Saint Petersburg). Timkov participated in all Exhibitions of the defenders of Leningrad, also in Exhibition titled "The Heroics of Soviet Front and Rear" in Moscow in Tretyakov Gallery in 1943, as well as creating the greatest during the war years Exhibition "The Heroic defense of Leningrad", opened in 1944 and marked the beginning of the Museum of Defense of Leningrad. Timkov was awarded the medals "For Defense of Leningrad", and "For Victory over Germany". In 1943, Nikolai Timkov has been accepted in members of the Leningrad Union of Soviet Artists.
His first part in Art exhibition refers to 1929 (Rostov on Don). In 1947, in the halls of the Leningrad Union of Soviet Artists has been opened the first solo exhibition of his works, as shown later in Leningrad at the Cinema House and the House of Arts. He painted landscapes, genre paintings, worked in watercolors and oil painting. Most famous as master of lyrical landscapes. Since the late 1940s, Nikolai Timkov become the constant participant of Leningrad, Republican, and All-Union Art Exhibition. Formation of his individual creative style proceeded gradually, as experience and lessons learned in the process of communicating with your colleagues and numerous creative travel to the Volga River and Don River, in Staraya Ladoga, the Urals, the work in Wira and Christmas village near Leningrad, on the Academicheskaya Dacha. Already as a mature master he visits Italy (1969), England (1974), France (1977), Yugoslavia (1981).
In the first post World War II decade, Timkov style developed and improved in areas identified during the years of study. He was entirely under the influence of the 19th-century Russian landscape painters. Real space in his works passed almost illusory precision, the colors muted. In landscapes of Don and Volga he tends to cover a larger space with the image of the set clearly legible plans that is in line with general trends in the genre of these years. Among the famous works of this period the painting "Harvest" (1950), "Lights of Hydro Power Station", "Soon the harvest" (both 1951), "Winter Landscape" (1952), "Don River Distance" (1953), "Evening on the Don River", "At the Don River" (both 1954), "Silent Fall. On the Don", "The Last Snow", "Towards Spring" (all 1955), "Windy Day", "Evening" (both 1956), "The ice moved", "Evening on the Volga River" (both 1957), and others.
The most interesting his etudes done from nature: "Landscape" (1954), "Spring Landscape" (1955), "The Wira village", "A Winter" (both 1956), "White Night" (1957), "Last Ray", "Towards spring", "Young Aspen trees" (all 1958), and others. In them Timkov often can be preserved impressions of the direct perception of nature. But the sketch in those years was considered only as auxiliary material for landscape painting, with its large size, an essential genre-narrative beginning with the careful selection and meticulous attention to detail and alignment of the composition. Not surprisingly, therefore, that at the solo exhibition of 1957 in the Leningrad Union of Artists, as later in Rostov on Don, Timkov appears as a gifted and serious professional, whose work is however still does not go beyond the tenets and practices that existed in the Soviet landscape painting of 1940-1950s.
However, much in his works has already drawn attention to themselves. This is a rare natural sense of color, sincere and resolute own voice in the selection of topics and reveal of the way. His painting becomes decorative, pattern and shapes becomes more generalized. The artist often resorted to building tracks around the large volumes and planes.
Russian Winter. Hoarfrost. 1969
Timkov not stop the quest for his identity until the last years of life, and are critical to the deal has been painted by him earlier. And yet his recognizable style artist gets to mid-1960s. This assures attentive acquaintance with the works of this period, shown in solo exhibitions of 1964 in Leningrad, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Krasnodar, Stavropol, Kislovodsk, Rostov-on-Don, Ordzhonikidze, Nalchik, and in 1975 in Leningrad. They traced the obvious development of the creative artist's manner from traditional plein air painting aside impressionistic enrichment and refinement of color, enhance decoration, styling and some conventions of the drawing.
Colourful range of his works in 1960 become extremely broad, its coloring a ringing and decorative, but not local, and subtly linked to relief, with the expressive possibilities of the canvas surface, texture, smear. In this period the spectacular talent of Nikolai Timkov fully disclosed in all kinds of creativity - from large landscape painting to nature studies of small forms. Among them paintings "A First Snow" (1961), "On the Tesa River", "Street in Kholui town", "Autumn Cherry trees" (all 1962), "February azure" (1963 ), "In the March" (1965), "A Spring", "Autumn Gold", "Volkhov River. A Last Snow" (all 1967), "Sunny Day", "Winter has come" (both 1968), "Russian Winter. A Hoarfrost." (1969), "April", "Mstino Lake" (1971), "June Blue", "A May. Bird cherry blossoms" (both 1972), "In the Snow" (1973), "Danilov Monastery in the Pereslavl-Zaleski ancient town" (1974), "A Field under snow", "A February" (both 1975), and others.
After a successful exhibition of 1975, Timkov continues to work actively in Valentinovka village located near Academicheskaya Dacha, as well as his Leningrad studio in a house on the Pesochnaya Embankment. He travels to the Crimea, the Black Sea coast of Caucasus, visited France and Yugoslavia. From now until the end of life the majority of his works will be created in the village of Valentinovka and its surroundings near the Vyshny Volochyok town in Tver Province. Timkov works here every year from April–May to November, sometimes in winter. He painted banks of Msta River and Mstino lake, and nearby villages Kotchische, Bolshoy Gorodok, Maliy Gorodok, Podol, Kisharino, Terpigorevo. Among works painted by Timkov in these years were the "A First Snow", "An Autumn" (both 1977), "Torzhok town", "Is Rain" (both 1978), "Torzhok town. A Winter", "Winter Morning", "Summer Evening" (all 1980), "A Spring" (1982), "Twilight" (1983), "Crimea" (1988), "Pereslavl-Zalesky town" (1992), and a lot others.
In 1982 in Moscow in the halls of the Moscow House of Artists at the street of Kuznetsky Bridge successfully hosted an exhibition of works by Nikolai Timkov shown later both in the Air Force Academy after Yuri Gagarin and in Stars City. In 1987 Nikolai Timkov was awarded an honorable title of Honored Artist of Russian Federation. His last lifetime exhibition has been shown in 1993 in the halls of Saint Petersburg Union of Artists.
Nikolai Efimovich Timkov died on December 25, 1993 in Saint Petersburg at the eighty-second year of life. His paintings reside in State Russian Museum, in Art museums and private collections in Russia, France, England, Japan, in the U.S., and throughout the world.
In 1990s, after the death of the artist, his work has received recognition and aroused great interest abroad. He devoted two monographs published in the U.S. Exhibitions of his works were held in San Francisco (1998, 2000, 2001), Aspen (1999), New York (1999, 2001), Scottsdale (2000), Palm Beach (2000), Vail (2001), Washington (2001) and other cities. This brought the artist fame and glory of the "Russian Impressionist". One of the first Soviet artists, and perhaps the first landscape painter, he was listed in the West as one of the biggest painter of the 20th century. With the works of Nikolai Timkov for many Western art historians and art lovers began essentially a new discovery of Soviet-era art middle and second half of the 20th century.
Nikolai Timkov paintings are available at and through the L P Cline Gallery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.