1893, Moscow — 1953, Moscow

Dispute Over Art


  • oil on canvas. 345 x 412
  • Ж-7742

  • Received in 1962 from the Ministry of Culture of the USSR

Vasily Yakovlev’s interest in old Dutch, Flemish and Italian masters and his search for lost painting techniques encountered a certain resistance even among his comrades in the realistic camp. Feeling his creative loneliness among colleagues, the artist sought the friendship of writers, military people and scientists. Nonetheless, this painting depicts the artist engaged in an intimate dialogue with other painters: Vasily Meshkov, Dmitry Tarkhov and Nikolai Chizhov. The generically diverse work includes a masterfully painted interior with a sumptuous still life of carpets, draperies and artist’s paraphernalia; portraits bearing a remarkable likeness to their sitters; a self-portrait; and a nude. Yet the canvas’ overarching theme is beauty, and woman as its perfect embodiment. By Yakovlev’s own admission, from the moment when he painted his first female nude in a studio as a very young man, he “knew and would know of nothing better in art”; the human body would forever remain his “ultimate artistic ideal”. Yakovlev’s choice of themes departed radically from the principles of Socialist Realism, but in them he expressed his true aesthetic passions.

«Виртуальный Русский музей» в социальных сетях: