Viktor Ivanov is one of the most famous painters of the “thaw” era, the founder of the “severe style” in Russian painting. He has dedicated his art to the everyday life of ordinary people, the full-blooded romance of rural life, and the harmonious wholeness of human existence.In 1950 he graduated from the Surikov Moscow Art Institute where he studied under Alexander Osmerkin, renowned from the “Jack of Diamonds” artistic association.
In this painting Ivanov captures a real-life event–as some of the leading artists of the 60s visited one of the oldest cafes in Rome on the Via Condotti in 1973. Ivanov’s painting shows five major artists whose names are associated with innovative processes in the Soviet art sitting at a table in a cafe-: Gely Korzhev and Pyotr Ossovsky to the left, Efrem Zverkov, Dmitry Zhilinsky and and Viktor Ivanov. Each of the characters was painted from life. While the viewer can clearly observe their different natures and characters, they are presented in a unified pictorial style which transforms them into a solid and generalized embodiment of their epoch in painting. Viktor Ivanov’s artistic manner is characterized by his drawing’s academic precision, his pursuit of laconic expression, a monumental scale and his expressive decisions about the composition.
The Café Greko, founded in 1760, is a long-renowned meeting place for artists, writers and composers from the all over the world. At various times, regular visitors to the cafe included Goethe, Byron, Wagner, Liszt, Dostoevsky, Tyutchev and Gogol. TV journalist Leonid Parfenov also spent many hours here, working on his documentary project about Nikolay Gogol. The café is still in business at 86 Via dei Condotti in Rome.
Paintings featured in this exhibition:
"Viktor Ivanov" - The Institute of Russian Realist Art - Moscow, Russia (28.04.16 - 31.06.16).