Honoured artist of Russia.Painter.Nikolay Belyaev — Honoured Artist of Russia, the author of numerous canvases and drawings — was among the founders of Sergiev Posad fine art and the local branch of the Artists' Union, Any work of Nikolay Belyaev, created in the course of more than 50 years, testifies to his universal interest in the surroundings, sympathy for a single person, as well as to the involvement in major social events.Nikolay Belyaev was born in Tsahtsyn on May 28,1916. As a child he took to drawing and went to Art Studio of Dumao. In 1933 the family moved to Zagorsk (now Sergiev Posad). Nikolay Belyaev studied art in the Moscow Art School of 1905 (1936—1939) and then In the Grekov Art Studio. In February 1942 he was sent in a group of art students to the 16th Army of the Western Front. A severe wound, contusion and amputa¬tion of the right hand could have made him give up painting. He regained faith and hope with the help of Tamara, his true friend and wife, guardian angel and muse. Since 1943 Nikolay Belyaev was an active exhibitor. In 1945 he became a member of the Artists' Union. His works were acquired by the museums and private collectors. In 1978 Nikolay Belyaev was awarded the title of the Honoured Artist of the RSFSR.Nikolay Belyaev has always been persistent in seeking his own way in art. Thus, he is trying to portray the surroundings in all aspects. Nikolay Belyaev belongs to the generation of the Soviet artists appreciating the feeling of the social significance of their activity. His aesthetic views and artistic manner were formed in the 1940s. His art reflected the artistic mentality in the social consciousness of the people who had survived the hardest years of the war, striving for elevated portraying of life, and glorification of the heroes.Nikolay Belyaev's artistic method was based on the tra¬ditions of K. F. Yuon, V. N. Baksheyev, P, P. SokoIov-Skalya and the artistic heritage of the Peredvizhniki (members of the Society for Circulating Art Exhibitions) and AKHR (Artists' Association of Russia). The early period manifests the artist's search for themes, compositional treatment, expressive manner. The canvases, dedicated to children and childhood, constituted the leading theme of his painting at the end of the 1940s — the beginning of the 1950s, The canvas «Soviet Youth was acquired by the Russian Museum, In the 1950—1960s Nikolay Belyaev turned to Lenin's theme, revealing Lenin's character both in portrait and in landscape connected with his life. The canvases Talk, «Children in Gorki and others display a peculiarity of Belyaev's thematic paintings — a genre scene without a landscape is hardly possible for him.Portrait painting has occupied a leading place in Belyaev's art since he made first sketches at the front. Tamara (1944) is one of the best portraits. This remarkable portrait demonstrates a tender attitude of the artist and personality of the sitter. The warm colour scheme and technique of painting (direction, length and thickness of the strokes) convey the lyricism, purity and young mood of the model.The portraits of the artist's friends — N. A. Bak, sculptor A. I. Posyado, artists V. P. Kosenkov, N. K. Zado G. I. Prokopinsky painted in oil and watercolour — are restrained and noble.In the course of his creative activity Nikolay Belyaev turned to various genres, but his landscapes are most attractive. He tried to master the secrets when he was a student of a talented Russian landscape painter P, I. Petrovichev.Plain air landscape in watercolour was the main bran Nikolay Belyaev's art in the 1960s, The artist paints his watercolours from nature with a rush, sometimes rejoicing a first drops of rain putting an unexpected finishing touch to his work. The plastic elements, like a simple group of hire an open field with a winding road, a fragment of the sky and roofs of the houses caught by Belyaev's eye can be subjects of his landscapes. The artist's choice of the scenery motifs prove his inclination to lyrical art. He often turns to the LAVRA, depicting its magnificent ensemble in shining summer colours or under a mysterious cover of the autumn and winter twilights. The watercolours on the canvas are smooth thin, getting thicker and more distinct to stress the lines of silhouette. To make the drawing complete the artist outlines the main details with the «moist technique combined i light painting in several layers. Liquid transparent layers of watercolour produce the great pictorial effects in the series of landscapes dedicated to the scenery of Middle Asia and Bulgaria. The thick layer of the watercolours in combination with the more decorative whiting on the brown cardboard is chief expressive feature in the landscape -The Yard in December» (1979).The colouring and the gradation of tone are especially convincing in the plastic qualities of the artist's stilliifes. “Lilac by the mirror (1978), An autumn still-life (1970), painted in a noble golden-brown colour scheme are a real success.
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