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Merited Artist (Russian: Заслуженный артист, Zasluzhennyy artist, also translated as Meritorious Artist, Deserved Artist, Distinguished Artist, Honoured Artist or Honorable Actor) is an honorary title in the Soviet Union, Russian Federation, Union republics, and Autonomous republics, also in some other Eastern bloc states, as well as in a number of post-Soviet states.
|Merited Artist of the Russian Federation |
|Next (higher)||People's Artist of Russia|
The title is awarded by the national government to actors, directors, film makers, writers, dancers, singers, painters, architects, etc., for exceptional achievements in the arts.
The honorary title was originally modeled after the German honorific title for distinguished opera singers. Historically, the title was bestowed by princes or kings, when it was styled Hofkammersänger(in). In Imperial Russia before 1917, several stars of stage and film were honored with the title "Imperial singer", but after the Soviet Revolution of 1917, the new government made changes and established the title of the Meritorious Artist of Russia (RSFSR and other Soviet republics).
The term is confusingly used to translate two different Russian language titles: "заслуженный артист" (literally Merited Artist, but better rendered as Merited Actor, Merited Dancer, etc., awarded in performing arts) and "заслуженный художник" (awarded in some visual arts: painting drawing, and photography). Both titles are awarded for exceptional achievements in the corresponding arts.
Some other arts gave rise to special titles: Merited Architect, Merited Writer, Merited Poet.
In modern Russia, the term Merited Actor applied to performing arts, and the title Merited Worker of Arts is the translation of the Russian honorary title zasluzhenny deyatel iskusstv which is applied to non-performing people, including visual artists, composers, etc.