Arkady Plastov

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Arkady Plastov
File:1973 CPA 4261 mint.jpg
Arkady Plastov «Tractor Drivers' Supper» 1951
Born Arkády Alexándrovich Plástov
January 31, 1893 (1893-01-31)
Prislonikha, Simbirsk, Russian Empire
Died May 12, 1972 (1972-05-13) (age 79)
Prislonikha, Ulyanovsk, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Education State Free Art Shops
Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
Known for Painting
Movement Socialist realism

Arkady Alexandrovich Plastov (Russian: Аркадий Александрович Пластов; born 31 January [O.S. 19 January] 1893 in Prislonikha, Simbirsk Governorate; died 12 May 1972 in Prislonikha, Ulyanovsk Oblast) was a Russian socialist realist painter.


Plastov was born into a family of icon painters in the village Prislonikha in the Russian Governorate of Simbirsk. He attended the sculpture department of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture beginning in 1914. In 1917, he returned to his native village, where he occupied himself with painting, drawing from nature.

Starting in 1935, he steps introduces his category painting into the public. According to the strict political-artistic doctrine of the time at that time, which only permits the style of socialist realism in all art kinds, Plastov pictures the life in the Soviet Union, the pervasive building up of socialism. His work is characterized by his knowledge of the life in the villages of the Soviet Union, his love for his native land, strong, live pictures and his skills of painting. As the reaction to the events, which moved the population of the Soviet Union at that time, Plastov showed in his pictures, how the village life had changed by the collectivization. As models of the Protagonists of his works Plastov chose characters of his homeland village. The outbreak of World War II inspired new motives for the work of Plastov. He depictured suffering of the Soviet people, work of the women, old people and children on the kolkhoz fields during the war. After the war Plastov kept the motives of the village life.

A characteristic for Plastov's works is painting “Spring” (Весна) from the year 1951. It shows a young naked woman dressing up a girl before a wood hut - a Banya (the Russian counterpart to the Finnish sauna). It snows and in the background there are snow covered pastures. “Spring” is considered as turning point in the Soviet history of art. For the first time since introduction of socialist realism a work of art shows a completely unpolitical everyday life scene in the official area of the Soviet Union. Neither actual as typical for the past statesmanship - which Physis of the Protagonisten of the work idealizes, nor leaves itself a political message, as for instance in Plastov's earlier works that glorified the collectivization.

During his artistic career Arkady Plastov was awarded two Orders of Lenin, he was laureate of the Stalin Prize, (1946), Lenin prize (1966) and he also (in 1972, posthumously) was nominated for the State Prize of the RSFSR named Ilya Repin - for his painting "Balefire in a Field", "Out of the Past" and a series of portraits of his contemporaries.

Museum Collections

File:Plastov Vesna.jpg
Spring, 1954.
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Oil on canvas, 210 x 123 cm.

Video Links

External links


  1. Volgograd Museum of Fine Arts, Soviet Art Department : "Soviet Artist". Set of 14 postcards. Text: T. A. Dodina.- Moscow, Soviet Artist, 1990. Plastov's painting on the cover.
  2. The world's richest art prize was launched in London by Russia to revitalise the out-of-favour style of figurative art. «Daily Mirror», Jan 23, 2013