Arkady Plastov


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Russian painter, one of the outstanding representatives of Socialist Realism. He divided his time between Prislonikha (his native village) and Moscow, where he studied at the Stroganov School, 1912–14, and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, 1914–17. Until 1931, when he became a full-time artist, he worked also as a farmer, and he was above all a painter of agricultural life. Alan Bird (1987) says of his work that ‘it displays a liveliness of invention, a sureness of technique, a flamboyant, baroque quality which matches the wedding cake splendours of Russian architecture of that period and which merits more than the jeers it has received in the West or the senseless attacks made on it by latter-day critics in the Soviet Union itself’. Plastov also painted portraits, designed posters (mainly early in his career), and made book illustrations. His work is well represented in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, and the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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