Victor I. Smirnov
Victor Smirnov entered art just in the middle of the century on the brink of the two historical and artistic epochs-totalitarian regime and regulated socialist realism, on the one hand, and democratic "thaw" and artistic freedom, on the other hand. Thus, certain peculiarities could be noticed in his art.
As early as in 1951, when he was only twenty, the artist displayed his works in the regional exhibition for the first time. These were landscapes and genre pieces made in realistic manner typical of the period. After that he often took part in different exhibitions.
He finished the Vladimir Art school in 1949 and his teachers there were muscovites F. N. Zakharov and M. P. Sitchov, Professor of the Academy of fine Arts, Master of History of Arts. They gave a good professional training to Victor and introduced him to great heritage of Russian art of the 19th century. Realistic manner became a typical feature of his painting.
Victor Smirnov has achievements in portrait-painting as well. He represented his time through depiction of different people, his contemporaries, famous and unknown. He retains his reputation in Vladimir for combining technical mastery of portraiture with the power to convey human emotion and character and the inner world of the represented person.
Smirnov works in the genre of historical painting. His canvases depict old cities or historical personalities such as Andrei Bogolyubsky and Alexander Nevsky with a great degree of authenticity. In this respect his works are connected with the Russian artistic tradition which was formed by M. Nesterov, A. Ryabushkin and N. Roerich.
But most of all his talent is demonstrated in lyrical landscape. Unlike other artists he does not try to find universal truths in his landscapes. The subjects of his pictures are unique and concrete. The main aim of his landscape-painting is to show the beauty of nature and wisdom of its laws. Smirnov is a wonderful and unrivalled colourist.
Generally speaking, Victor Smirnov occupies a conspicuous and important position in the contemporary Vladimir school of painting.
Candidate of Sc. (Art-Criticism)
Honoured Art Worker of Russia