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 Igor Grabar

Born:   March 25, 1871
Deceased:   May 16, 1960

Russian Soviet painter, restorer, art critic, educator, museum figure, and teacher.


Igor Emmanuilovich Grabar was born into the Russian family in Budapest on March 25 (13), 1871. His family returned to Russia in 1876.  Igor finished a grammar school and then the Moscow lyceum in 1889.
He dreamed of becoming an artist and in 1889 moved to Petersburg and entered two university faculties – the law faculty and the history and philology faculty at once. He made his living by writing short stories.  
In 1894 Igor Grabar entered the Academy of Arts, where he studied under Ilya Repin. In 1895 he travelled in Italy, Paris and further on across Europe, studying works by recognized masters of painting and architecture.
After his return to Russia in 1900, he created his best paintings dedicated to Russian nature:  September Snow (1903), February Azure, White Winter. Rook Nests, March Snow (1904), and Chrysanthemums (1905). 
In 1910 the artist became fond of architecture, studied history of art and wrote the first ever History of Russian Art in six volumes (1909-1916). 
From 1913 to 1925 Grabar was the director of the Tretyakov Gallery, and worked on protection of architecture monuments. The Central Restoration Studios (nowadays named after him) were founded on his initiative in 1918. 
Igor Grabar resumed painting after 1924. In that period he painted well-known portraits of his relatives, as well as scientists and musicians:  Portrait of Mother (1924), Svetlana (1933), Portrait of Daughter in Winter Landscape (1934), Portrait of Son (1935), Portrait of Academician S. A. Chaplygin (1935), self-portraits, and works dedicated to V. I. Lenin. He went on landscape painting too:  The Last Snow (1931), Birch Tree Avenue (1940), and Winter Landscape (1954). 
Till the end of his life the artist remained a keeper of Russian painting traditions of the late 19th centur. Igor Grabar died in Moscow on May 16, 1960.

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