Alexander Semionov

Alexander Mikhailovich Semionov (Russian: Александр Михайлович Семёнов; 18 February 1922 – 23 June 1984) is a Soviet Russian painter, a member of the Leningrad Union of Artists[1] and representative of the Leningrad School of Painting,[2] most famous for his cityscape paintings.

Alexander Mikhailovich Semionov
Born(1922-02-18)18 February 1922
Died23 June 1984(1984-06-23) (aged 62)
EducationTavricheskaya Art School
Known forPainting


Alexander Semionov was born in Torzhok, Tver Oblast, Russia. In the mid-1930s his family moved to Leningrad. Having abilities to draw from the early age, Semionov entered Tavricheskaya Art School, where he studied under Alexander Gromov, Semion Bootler, Victor Oreshnikov, Vladimir Levitsky and Mariam Aslamazian.[3]

In 1940 Semionov graduated from Tavricheskaya Art School. In 1940–1941 he worked as copyist at the LenIzo Leningrad Art Centre. In the Russian Museum he painted copies from works of Ivan Shishkin, Ilya Repin an Isaak Levitan.[4]

In 1941, Semionov went to the front as a volunteer, passing through all the trials of wartime from beginning to end. After that he returned to work in LenIzo as a painter, gradually restoring and improving his professional skills. He painted from life in such picturesque suburbs of Leningrad as Rozhdestvenno, Wyra, Daymische (for example Summer Day, of 1951), where from the late 1940s to the early 1950s settled Leningrad artists Piotr Buchkin, Nikolai Timkov, Yuri Podlaski, George Tatarnikov, and other artists.

Since 1954, Semionov started to show his work on the exhibitions of Leningrad artists. These were sketches brought back from trips to the Ural and Altai: Altai Province. Cherga Area, Altai Mountains. Charga Area, Altai Province. Shebalino District, and Altai. At the Seshinsky Pass[5] (all 1954), Blacksmith workshop[6] (1956), At the Chusovoy Plant, Rolling workshop[7] (both 1957), and others. In these sketches traced the taste and great abilities of the artist to plein air painting, his ability for composition, for quickly grasp and transferring the lighting on canvas.

In 1957, Semionov was admitted to the Leningrad branch of Union of Artists of Russian Federation. In the same year as one of the leading painters of Leningrad, Semionov participated in the All-Union Art Exhibition in Moscow dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution.[8]

Early successes encouraged Semionov to further creative exploration, establishing the main theme of creativity specific to his temperament and painterly talent. Since the late 1950s it became the urban landscape, a favorite theme – streets, bridges, and embankments of Leningrad. Semionov embodied it in countless sketches and paintings, and made a significant contribution to the contemporary iconography of Leningrad. Among his works shown at the exhibitions were A Rainy Day[9] (1958), After the Rain[10] (1960), Rainy day in Summer Garden (1961), Leningrad in the morning[11] (1969), The Moyka River, Isaaсievskaya Square, Leningrad. Winter motive[12] (all 1961), Winter Park"[13] (1961), On the Neva River[14] (1964), The Leningrad and A Field of Mars[15] (both 1975), Kirovskiy Prospect[16] (1965), The Leningrad[17] (1967), Furmanov Street in Leningrad[18] (1976), and others.

From 1950–1970, in search of material for his paintings, Semionov, in addition to trips to the Altai and the Urals, repeatedly worked in the House the work of artists in Staraya Ladoga (Winter Forest, 1963, Bright Day in Old Ladoga, 1964, Winter in ancient town Old Ladoga, 1969, A Midday, 1971, Old Ladoga. Towards Spring, 1972, Little courtyard in Old Ladoga, 1974, Monastery in the Old Ladoga, 1975, In Christmas, 1975, and others) and visited ancient Russian towns Torzhok and Rostov the Great. There he painted the ancient corners of the Tver region, keeping the cherished images of childhood and youth of the artist (A Little courtyard in Rostov the Great, 1965, Rostov the Great, 1965, Torzhok in the Morning, 1972, Torzhok. Hotel, 1972, Summer day in Torzhok ancient town, 1973, and others ).

To the middle of 1960 there is a characteristic style of painting of Semionov, his favorite themes and methods of their development. In cityscapes he aspires to transfer the sensation of street, movement, to keep on a canvas the peeped scenes of a city life. The great attention he gives to light and shadow contrasts and plain air effects, to transfer volumes of urban spaces. The artist liked to paint Leningrad in rainy weather, masterly transferring game of color stains on wet asphalt.

Semionov's paintings are distinguished by finesse plain air, bright saturated colors and accurate transfer of tonal relations. Generalized drawing with a brush along with the active use of palette knife made of various texture painting, and allow the artist to achieve unity of artistic conception and its realization on canvas.

In 1965–1980 Semionov was regarded as a leader of Russian cityscape painting. He created a truthful image of a modern Leningrad (At the Kirov Prospekt in Leningrad, 1965, Leningrad Motive, 1967, At the Isaakievskaya Square in Leningrad, 1972, View at the Smolny Cathedral in Leningrad, 1974, Leningrad Theme, 1974, At the Suvorov Prospekt in Leningrad, 1975, Nevsky Prospekt in Evening Lights, 1976, Rainy Day, 1977, Leningrad Bridges, 1977, A Night at the Isaaky Square, 1978, Liteyny Bridge, 1982, and others). Some of his paintings are now perceived as literary evidence of the recent era: Nevsky Prospekt decorated brightly colored flags and banners (Nevsky Prospekt in Holiday, 1970, Nevsky Prospekt, 1977), the familiar streets, retaining its appearance in the paintings of the artist (Malaya Sadovaya street, 1979).

In 1960–1980 Alexander Semionov painted a lot in the picturesque suburbs of Leningrad. His paintings allow speak of him as a subtle master of the lyrical landscape. Among them Spring in the garden, 1967, A Midday in Pushkin town, 1968, Relic of the Past, 1968, A Bush of Lilac, 1969, In the Pushkin Town, 1969, Summer Day, 1973, After the rain, 1976, Clear up, 1976, Windy Day, 1976, Chikino Lake, 1978, Griazno Village, 1978, A Path in the village of Rozhdestveno, 1979, A Summer, 1979, and others.

In the 1970s Semionov's paintings were presented at the exhibitions of Soviet art in Japan, and in the 1990s at the auctions and exhibitions of Russian art in France, Italy, the UK, and the US.

Alexander Mikhailovich Semionov died on 23 June 1984 in Leningrad at the age of sixty-three.

In 1987, in the exhibition halls of the Leningrad Union of Artists held an exhibition of the works of Alexander Semionov, shown later in the cities of Leningrad region. His paintings reside in art museums and private collections in Russia,[19] Japan,[20] the US, England, France, and throughout the world.[19][21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Directory of Members of the Union of Artists of USSR. Vol.2. Moscow, Soviet artist, 1979. p. 330.
  2. ^ Sergei V. Ivanov. Unknown Socialist Realism. The Leningrad School. Saint Petersburg, NP-Print Edition, 2007. pp. 9, 21, 24, 44, 56, 89, 97, 153, 175, 199, 206, 209, 281, 329, 369, 389–400, 404, 405, 414–422, 445.
  3. ^ Sergei V. Ivanov. The Leningrad School of Painting. Essays on the History. St Petersburg, ARKA Gallery Publishing, 2019. P.356.
  4. ^ Dmitry Buchkin. Alexander Mikhailovich Semionov. Biography outline. Alexander Semionov. Exhibition Catalogue. Leningrad, Leningrad Artist's Union, 1987. P.3.
  5. ^ Весенняя выставка произведений ленинградских художников 1955 года. Каталог. Л., ЛССХ, 1956. С.16.
  6. ^ Осенняя выставка произведений ленинградских художников 1956 года. Каталог. Л., Ленинградский художник, 1958. С.22.
  7. ^ 1917–1957. Выставка произведений ленинградских художников. Каталог. Л., Ленинградский художник, 1958. С.29.
  8. ^ All-Union Art Exhibition of 1957 dedicated to the 40th Anniversary of October Revolution. Catalogue. Moscow, Soviet artist, 1957. P.71.
  9. ^ The Fall Exhibition of works by Leningrad artists of 1956. Catalogue. Leningrad, Leningrad artist, 1958. p. 22.
  10. ^ Exhibition of works by Leningrad artists of 1960. Exhibition catalogue. Leningrad, Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1963. p. 16.
  11. ^ Весенняя выставка произведений ленинградских художников 1969 года. Каталог. Л., Художник РСФСР, 1970. C.16.
  12. ^ Выставка произведений ленинградских художников 1961 года. Каталог. Л., Художник РСФСР, 1964. С.36.
  13. ^ Осенняя выставка произведений ленинградских художников 1962 года. Каталог. Л., Художник РСФСР, 1962. p. 24.
  14. ^ Ленинград. Зональная выставка 1964 года. Каталог. Л, Художник РСФСР, 1965. p. 48.
  15. ^ "Our Contemporary" regional exhibition of Leningrad artists of 1975. Catalogue. Leningrad, Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1980. P.24.
  16. ^ Paintings of 1940-1990s from the Leningrad School. Exhibition catalogue. Saint Petersburg, 1996. p. 5.
  17. ^ The Fine Arts of Leningrad. Exhibition catalogue. Leningrad, Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1976. P.30.
  18. ^ Осенняя выставка произведений ленинградских художников. 1978 года. Каталог. Л., Художник РСФСР, 1983. p. 15.
  19. ^ a b Sergei V. Ivanov. Unknown Socialist Realism. The Leningrad School. Saint Petersburg, NP-Print Edition, 2007. pp. 6-7.
  20. ^ Exhibition of modern Soviet Painting. 1976. Gekkoso Gallery. Catalogue. Tokyo, 1976. pp. 91, 158.
  21. ^ Painture Russe. Catalogue. Paris, Drouot Richelieu, 26 April 1991. pp. 7, 26.

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