1930 – 1939
Ilya Sergeyevich Glazunov is born to the family of scholar Sergey Fyodorovich Glazunov and Olga Konstantinovna Glazunova (nee Flug). He is enrolled in a children’s school of art, and later attends secondary art school in the historical district of Petrogradskaya Storona.
Glazunov is born in Leningrad on June 10. His father, Sergey Fyodorovich Glazunov, was a scholar of economics as well as an historian and sociologist. He was a friend of Pitirim A. Sorokin, a member of the Russian Bureau of Sociologists, and senior economist of “Lensel’prom.” Later in his career he taught at the Institute of Technology and was deputy head of the Scientific research station of economics and labor organization under the administrative commission of the Council of People’s Commissars (Narkomat) of the Food Industry of the USSR. In the late 1930’s he was a senior lecturer in the geography department of Leningrad State University. Glazunov’s mother was Olga Konstantinovna Glazunova, nee Flug.
He creates one of his first sketches, “Eagle in the Mountains.” In 1936 his parents enroll him in the Children’s School of Art on the grounds of the Lopukhin Garden (then named after Felix Dzerzhinsky).
He spends the summer with his parents at their dacha in the village of Betkovo near the town of Luga. In the fall he enrolls in a school of art in the historical district, Petrogradskaya Storona. He studies under the tutelage of drawing instructor Gleb Ivanovich Orlovsk.
On September 1, Germany invades Poland and World War II begins.
1940 – 1949
During World War II, known as the Great Patriotic War, both of Glazunov’s parents perish during the Leningrad Blockade. Eleven-year-old Ilya Sergeyevich is evacuated to safety in the North (Bolshaya Zemlya). At his new residence in the Novgorod region, Glazunov attends school and creates drawings based on life in the countryside. When the war ends, he returns to St. Petersburg and enters the school of arts under the auspices of the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he immerses himself in painting and visits Tallin, Moscow and Kiev. At the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, elder Father Tikhon dissuades the artist from taking the vow of monkshood and confers his blessings upon him to live in the outside world.
He completes the sketches “Winter Evening” and “Battle Against the White Finns.” Glazunov is mentioned in print for the first time in a review in the journal “Young Artist.”
June 22 marks the start of the Great Patriotic War. In June he moves to a dacha in the small village of Vyrits, outside of Leningrad. At the end of June, the future artist’s uncle, Mikhail Fyodorovich Glazunov, medical researcher and collector of art of the Silver Age, is named chief anatomical pathologist for the Northwestern Front. In August he returns with his family to the city as the German troops draw nearer. His father, who possesses a “White Ticket” (exemption from military service) refuses to evacuate.
At the apartment in the Petrogradskaya Storona neighborhood where Glazunov resides, his relatives perish from starvation: his maternal grandfather, sinologist Konstantin Konstantinovich Flug (Jan); his father, Sergey Fyodorovich Glazunov (Jan); and grandmother, Yelizaveta Dmitrievna Flug (Feb). He remains alone with his dying mother. On March 21, eleven-year-old Ilya is evacuated along the “Road of Life” to the North (Bolshaya Zemlya), where he spends one month recuperating in a hospital before moving to the town Greblo in the Novgorod region. In late April he receives a final letter from his mother, and in early May learns of her death. In the fall he starts attendance at the secondary school in the neighboring village of Kabozh. During that period his uncle, Mikhail Fyodorovich Glazunov, is named chief anatomical pathologist of the Soviet Army. During this period he devotes much of his energy to drawing. He creates sketches drawn on country life, such as “1812 (Retreat),” “Dubrovsky and Masha,” and others.
He continues to attend school in Kabozh. He reads the works of the Russian classic authors and monographs on Russian history which his maternal aunt Agnessa Konstantinovna and her husband Nikolai Monteverde send him from Leningrad. Some of these include “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy, “Tales of the Russian Land” by A. D. Nechvolodov, and books about the lives of great military commanders. He considers enrolling in the Suvorov Military Academy.
On May 31 he accompanies his uncle Mikhail Fyodorovich to Moscow, and spends the summer there. He resides at the Novomoskovskaya Hotel across from the Kremlin. He witnesses the daily salutes in honor of the victory of the Soviet Army and the march of German prisoners of war through the streets of Moscow. He returns to Leningrad in late August, and in September enrolls in the Secondary School of Art No. 3 under the auspices of the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he studies under the tutelage of Galina Vasil’evna Rysina.
May 9 - Day of Victory over fascist Germany. He spends the summer sketching the Leningrad environs and the villages of Lavriky and Kavgolovo. On August 6 and 9 the United States of America unleashes a nuclear attack upon Japanese cities. On August 9, the Soviet Army begins the Manchurian Operation against Japan. September 2 marks the signing of the Act of Japan’s Capitulation and the end of World War II. Within the halls of the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, the Academic Museum of Antique Casts resumes its activities. Glazunov creates the drawings “Inzhenernyi Castle”, “St. Petersburg of Peter I,” and others.
Glazunov studies under Maria Yakovlevna Perepelkina. He draws a sketch depicting Russian sailors raiding German headquarters for a competition entitled “The Patriotic War,” and a watercolor composition entitled “Ballet School.” May marks the opening of the State Russian Museum. He spends the month of July at a young pioneer camp in the town of Siverskaya, near Leningrad, where he works long hours on studies. He paints a portrait of his uncle, Mikhail Fyodorovich Glazunov, a renowned medical researcher and collector of paintings from the Silver Age. All the students belonging to Glazunov’s group are accepted into the Komsomol.
In the winter he visits Tallin. During the summer he works on sketches in the village of Betkovo, near Luga. He visits Moscow in September, during the grand celebration of the city’s 800-year anniversary. He stays with Liliya Yefimovna Yakhontova. There he discovers the Tretyakov Gallery’s new exposition which opened at the war’s end. From Moscow he travels to Kiev. During a visit to the Kiev Pechersk Lavra he feels a calling to enter into monkshood. Elder Father Tikhon dissuades the artist and sends him back into the world with his blessings, encouraging him to “become an artist in order to fight against the evil in the world.” He makes the acquaintance of Nikolai Andrianovich Prakhov, son of famous art critic Andrian Viktorovich Prakhov and caretaker of the paintings and frescoes of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kiev. He listens to his stories about Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, Mikhail Vasil’yevich Nesterov and other famous masters.
Following his exams in the winter he travels to Luga, where he works on studies. During the spring break he visits the town of Uglich. That fall he enters the sketch “Portrait of an Old Woman” in an exhibition of the work of young artists commemorating the Komsomol’s 30-year anniversary, held in the halls of the A.A. Zhdanov Palace of Young Pioneers. In the October 28 edition of “Leningradskaya Pravda” mention is made of Glazunov’s work “Old Woman Under the Sun” in an article about the exhibition. He completes “Portrait of Schoolteacher Trubchevskaya,” “Uglich. Boy Wearing a Jacket,” and the sketch “Cossacks on Patrol.”
He spends the summer in the village of Betkovo, near Luga, where he continues to work on studies. Later he joins student brigades from Leningrad University to work on construction of the Pozharishchensk Hydroelectric Station on the Karelian Isthmus. He completes the study “Old Man with an Axe (Grandfather Matyushka from the village of Betkovo near Luga,” and others.
1950 – 1959
Glazunov studies at the I. E . Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and engages in student field training in Yukki, Vasil’sursk on the Volga, Plyos, and Uglich, as well as the construction site of the Kuibyshevsk Electric Power Station. He paints his diploma work, “The Roads of War,” which is rejected by the academy’s administrative board. He meets and marries Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradovaya-Benois. Glazunov forms an acquaintance with L. L. Obolensky, talks with whom spark an interest in the personality of Dostoyevsky and early Russian painting. He creates the work “Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg,” as well as illustrations to the novels “The Idiot” and “Demons.” He is awarded the grand prix in an international competition of young artists organized by the journal “World Student News.” He holds his first one-man exhibition in Moscow at the Central House of Workers of the Arts, which becomes the subject of much controversy.
Glazunov works during the summer in Betkovo, near Luga. He takes a trip along the Volga River, and remains for two months in Plyos, where he works on landscape and portrait studies. He paints the portrait of the librarian of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Vasily Gavrilovich Ushakov.
Glazunov graduates from art school and enrolls in the painting department of the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. For his entry exams he paints a study from life, “Old Man,” which receives high marks from the committee. He visits the studio of Andrei Andreyevich Myl’nikov and makes good use of his advice. He shows his works to Mikhail Georgievich Platunov, professor of the department of drawing and one of the last students of Pavel Petrovich Chistyakov. He copies the drawings of the old masters and Raphael’s “The School of Athens.” He paints a portrait of literary figure and lawyer Sergei Karlovich Vrzhosek, a sketch based on an historical topic, “Disturbing News,” and a study entitled “Mother” for the painting “Roads of War.”
In the summer he takes his first student field practice in the town of Yukki at one of the cooperative farms in the Leningrad region, where he gathers material for the theme of cooperative farm life. He completes the sketch “Birth of a Calf.” He continues his student practice in Vasil’sursk on the Volga, Plyos, and Uglich. He creates a composition based on observations, “In the Dining Hall.” He copies Veronese’s “Adoration of the Magi” in the Hermitage, paints “Portrait of V. K. Berkhman” and a composition based on an assigned topic, “Lenin Returns to Petrograd.”
In the winter he travels to Kiev to study St. Sophia’s Cathedral and other historical monuments of the city. He draws a mixed-technique portrait of a singer (“Nadya”) from “Dumka,” the National Academic Choir of Ukraine. In March he travels to Moscow for the funeral of Joseph Stalin. He conceives of the idea for the large canvas “Roads of War.” In the summer he visits Plyos and other towns along the Volga. He completes the studies “Old Man” and “Old Man. Country.” He spends the second half of the summer engaged in practical field training at the construction site of the Kuibyshev Electric Station, remaining there until October. He creates portrait studies of prisoners working at the site. In September Nikita Sergeyevich Khruschev is nominated First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
In March he begins work on the composition “The Last Bus.” He spends the summer in Kanev in Ukraine, where he remains until early October. There he spends many hours painting en pleine air. He paints the works “Kanev,” “Girl from Kanev,” “Girl in Pink. Kanev,” and “Kanev. Oaks.” Upon returning to Leningrad, he meets his future wife, Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois, a student in the Art History Department of the Leningrad State University. In the fall he is assigned to the studio of Professor Yuri Mikhailovich Neprintsev, but sends a request to work under Boris Vladimirovich Ioganson, a student of Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin. He paints the stylized portraits “My Aunt Agnessa Konstantinovna Monteverde,” “Portrait of Pianist Marina Dranishnikova at the Piano,” and the paintings “Flown Away,” “At the Samovar,” the sketch “Giordano Bruno,” as well as a drawing in oiled chalk “Nina in a Fur Coat,” the first portrait of his future wife.
In the winter he completes the work “The Last Bus,” which marks the beginning of the cycle of works based on the theme of the city. In the spring he works on the city landscapes “Leningrad Spring,” “On a Bench” and “Neva in the Spring.” He works on sketches and studies for the canvas “The Roads of War.”
On February 25 Nikita Khruschev makes his speech “On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences” in a closed session of the Central Committee at the end of the Twentieth Party Congress. In the spring he takes a trip to Kizhi with his wife. He carries out his summer pre-diploma work in the Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk, birthplace of V. I. Surikov, and Minusinsk. He meets actor Leonid Leonidovich Obolensky, discussions with whom ignite an interest in Fyodor Dostoyevsky and early Russian painting. He creates the work “Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg” and illustrations to the novels “The Idiot” and “Demons,” including “Prince Myshkin,” “Rogozhin,” “Nastas’ya Filippovna,” “The Death of Shatov,” “Verkhovensky and Lyamshin,” which were acquired by the Dostoyevsky Museum in Moscow the very same year. In Leningrad he works to complete his diploma canvas “Roads of War,” as well as the paintings “Andrei Rublev” and “Giordano Bruno.” He completes the sketch “Russian Icarus.” He visits Moscow, where he paints portraits of writer Nikolai Pavlovich Antsiferov, poet Ksenia Aleksandrovna Nekrasova, actress Lyudmila Ivanovna Kas’yanova, film director and literary figure Liliya (Yelikonida) Yefimovna Yakhontova (Popova) and others. He begins work on illustrations of the poems of Aleksandr Blok and the series “The Leningrad Blockade,” and paints a series of works devoted to the theme of love: “The Couple,” “Twilight,” and others. In the summer he receives an offer to enter a painting in an international art competition sponsored by the journal “World Student News,” published in Prague. He is awarded the grand prize for his work “Yulius Fuchik (Imprisoned Poet).” He is married to Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois. The newlyweds spend their honeymoon in Staraya Ladoga. In October while in Leningrad he draws portraits of the actors of the French National Populaire Theater: Maria Cazares, Monique Shomette, Daniela Serrano, and others, at the request of the Journal “Theater.” Somewhat later he draws the portrait of the chief director of Leningrad’s Bolshoi Theater of Drama, Georgy Aleksandrovich Tovstonogov.
Following his victory in the International Student Art Competition and at the initiative of the Committee of Youth Organizations (KMO) and its director, Len Vyacheslavovich Karpinsky, and with the support of TsDRI director Boris Mikhailovich Filippov, pianist Yakov Vladimirovich Flier, and members of the board, caricaturist Boris Yefimovich Yefimov, ballerina Olga Vasil’yevna Lepeshinskaya and others, Glazunov’s first one-man exhibition is held in Moscow, in the Central House of Workers of the Arts. The exhibition consists of nearly eighty works, both in oil and other mediums. On February 5 a public discussion about the exhibition is attended by over one thousand persons. The minister of culture, Nikolai Aleksandrovich Mikhailov, visits the exhibition twice. Glazunov is introduced to poets Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko and Bella Akhatovna Akhmadulina, author Konstantin Georgievich Paustovsky, and others. On February 7 the “New York Herald Tribune” publishes a small article on Glazunov’s exhibition written by a staff correspondent in Moscow, “Socialist Realism or Not?” During the course of the exhibition he receives notification from Leningrad that he has been excluded from the I. E. Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Word of his reinstatement follows almost immediately, in light of the minister’s favorable response to the exhibition. On February 22 and 23 during a meeting of artist-members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the issue of Glazunov’s exhibition is a topic of discussion. In May his request for studio space in Leningrad is rejected by the executive committee of the Leningrad City Council (Lensovet). Glazunov graduates from the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, completing his apprenticeship under Boris Vladimirovich Ioganson. Since the Institute’s Academic Council had refused to consider “Roads of War” as his diploma work, he submits the painting “Birth of a Calf,” for which he receives a mediocre grade. Glazunov takes up work as a teacher of drawing and trigonometry, first at the Izhevsk Trade School, and later in Ivanovo. When it turns out that there are no openings available there, he departs for Moscow, where he stays with friends. That summer, during the IV World Festival of Youth and Students, he takes part in the work of the international art studio in Gorky Park, and displays his works at the International Exhibition of Decorative and Applied Arts that was running concurrently as part of the festival. In the catalog for the exhibition art critic Vladimir Pavlovich Tolstoy sharply denounces the painting “Twilight” for its contrast to the “overwhelming majority of works in the Soviet section, imbued with the spirit of optimism,” both in format and in mood. He meets the Italian critic Paolo Ricci, Polish actor Zbyshek Tsibul’sky, poet Boris Abramovich Slutsky, and others. He draws the portraits of poets Nazym Khikmet and Nikolai Glaskov, author Anatoly Rybakov, actress Tat’yana Samoilova, and film director Mikhail Kalatozov. In the fall he moves to a dormitory room at Moscow State University, and earns money working as a loader at the Riga Station. At the suggestion of actress Tamara Fyodorovna Makarova and film director Sergei Apollinarievich Gerasimov he creates sketches for the film “Memory of the Heart,” filmed by Tat’yana Mikhailovna Liosnova. Glazunov’s sketches are accepted, but due to ideological differences that arise between the artist and director, the post of art director is given to Noi Iosifovich Senderov instead. In late December Glazunov and his wife move into a communal apartment on Vorovsky Street (presently Povarskaya St). Their quarters consist of a 4-meter-square space used as a storage room by Spanish sculptor Dionisio Garcia.
Glazunov makes the acquaintance of Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhailkov, secretary of the Writer’s Union of the USSR, who takes him under his protective wing. In February, at the request of the senior member of the Diplomatic Corps, Swedish Ambassador to the USSR Rol’f Sul’man, he paints a portrait of Sul’man’s wife, Zinaida Aleksandrovna, nee Princess Obolenskaya. Thanks to Mikhailkov’s efforts he is issued a studio apartment in the outskirts of Moscow, on Romain Rolland Square. At the same time he rents a one bedroom apartment on Kutuzovsky Prospect, where he begins giving art lessons to the wives of diplomats posted at the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the “Moskva” Hotel he draws a portrait of Mexican artist David Al’faro Sikeiros. He paints a series of works imbued with a sense of melancholy and loneliness: “Metro,” “The Cage,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Loneliness,” “The Ladder (Self Portrait), and others.
In the winter he is commissioned by the Polish magazine “Dookola Svyata” to draw a portrait of Italian opera singer Mario del Monaco. In Naples Italian art critic Paolo Ricci publishes the monograph “Ilya Glazunov.” Glazunov creates several genre works in which his treatment of contemporary Soviet life assumes a critical, grotesque character: “In the Courtyard,” “Soviet Children Crossing the Street,” “Soviet Holiday” and others.
1960 – 1969
Glazunov elucidates his creative position in articles in the press and in an autobiographical book “The Road to You. From the Artist’s Notes.” He travels widely and works in the Russian North. Through his paintings he expresses his understanding of the Old Russian historical and cultural legacy. He travels to Italy at the invitation of honored Italian workers of culture. He is accepted into the organizing committee of the All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPik). He becomes the organizer and director of the “Club for Enthusiasts of Old Russian Art” which was later renamed “Rodina” (Homeland). He works on illustrations to the works of Kuprin, Lermontov, and A. K. Tolstoy. His exhibition housed in the administrative quarters of the Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow (Manege) is shut down five days after opening at the orders of the Moscow Artist’s Union. He paints the portraits of the 13th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksy I (Simansky), and other members of the Russian Orthodox Church. He visits and holds exhibitions in Copenhagen, Paris, and Laos. During a trip to Vietnam he creates over 150 works: “The Vietnam Series.” He is accepted into the USSR Artist’s Union.
At the invitation of the youth magazine “Dookola Swiata” (Around the World) he travels to the People’s Republic of Poland. Exhibitions of his work are held that summer in three cities: Warsaw, Krakov, and the mining town of Katovitsa. Edward Gerek, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of Poland, visits the opening day of the Katovitsa exhibition. Glazunov paints portraits of Polish actress Beata Tyszkiewicz, actor Gustaw Holoubek, conductor Witold Rowicki, and others. He publishes a controversial article in the magazine “Molodaya Gvardiya” entitled “Blot and Image. Notes on certain aspects of contemporary painting,” where for the first time he elucidates his creative position in a thorough and well defined fashion. He meets writer and poet Vladimir Alekseyevich Soloukhin, who requests that he design the cover of his book. He paints the portrait of Italian playwright Eduardo de Filippo during his visit to Moscow, as well as the portrait of young poet Andrei Andreyevich Voznesensky for his first collection of poems, “Mozaika.” During the winter he takes a trip to Borovsk and Rostov Veliky, and to the Arkhangelsk, Vologodsk and Ryzansk regions. In the canvases “Prince Vladimir Putivl’sky,” “In Anticipation,” “Russian Song,” and others, he presents his understanding of the Old Russian historical and cultural legacy. At the request of the Ambassador to Israel, he draws a portrait of Anne Frank.
In the winter he travels to Kharkov with Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhailkov to pay a visit to psychiatrist and psychotherapist Kazimir Markovich Dubrovsky, renowned for healing patients suffering from stuttering disorder. Glazunov draws his portrait. During the second half of April, shortly after Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space, he paints the cosmonaut’s portrait. In May he is accepted as a candidate into the Artist’s Union. In July, during the 2nd International Film Festival in Moscow, he is visited by the “stars” of Italian film: actress Gina Lollobrigida, directors Lukino Visconti and Giuseppe de Santis, and set designer Ennio de Conchini. The portraits, completed in the span of just two hours, are received with delight, and the artist receives an invitation to visit Rome. He also draws the portraits of American actors Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher. In Vladimir, he makes the chance acquaintance of former Deputy to the State Duma, Vasily Vital’yevich Shul’gin, and draws his portrait soon thereafter. Later that autumn he visits Nizhny Novgorod, Gorodets, Semenov, and other towns connected with the legends about the town of Kitezh. He draws portraits of writers Mikhail Nikolayevich Alekseyev, Georgy Dmitrievich Guliya, and Antonina Dmitrievna Koptyayeva.
In the winter he visits Ryazan’ while on an official trip for the Central Committee of the VLKSM (All-Union Lenin’s Communist Youth Union). He pays his first visit to the editorial offices of the magazine “Ogonyok,” which commissions a portrait of writer Fyodor Ivanovich Safronov. He meets with the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Izvestiya,” Aleksey Ivanovich Adzhubei. On April 5 Glazunov’s article “What to Remember, What to Take Pride In…” calls for taking action following the example of Soviet Georgia, and the creation of voluntary societies for the preservation and study of cultural monuments in the republics of the USSR. He creates a special section within the Soviet Peace Committee devoted to the preservation of monuments, which subsequently serves as the basis for the All-Russia Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPiK). An article sympathetic to Glazunov, “A Man of Restless Talent,” written by poet and public figure Nikolai Semenovich Tikhonov, is published in the July issue of the “Moskva” magazine. He travels to the town of Pereyaslavl’-Zalessky as an official representative of the Central Committee’s All Union Lenin’s Communist Youth Union (VLKSM). On July 7 an article appears in defense of Glazunov, “The Strange Fate of a Talented Man,” by writer Sergei Sergeyevich Smirnov, who was subsequently repudiated by the leadership of the USSR Artist’s Union. In the summer Glazunov visits Veliky Novgorod and paints the work “Saviour Church on Nereditsa.” In late July, early August he displays several works at the VIII International Festival of Youth and Students in Helsinki. On December 26 he speaks before a gathering of young artists held in the Central Committee of the Communist Party, where he formulates his thoughts on the creative process and the state of contemporary art, and speaks of the critical need for efforts to be made for the preservation of monuments of Russian culture. In the painting “Prince Igor” he employs the technique of collage, inspired by embellished Old Russian icon covers. He draws the portraits of delegates to the World Congress for Disarmament, including scholars Joliot-Curie and John Bernal, as well as writer Sergei Sergeyevich Smirnov, composer Aram Il’yich Khachaturyan, and others. In order to spread the word of Old Russian culture, he begins working on the creation of a patriotic club around which he hopes to unite Soviet youth. He receives the backing of sculptor Sergei Timofeyevich Konenkov.
In the spring he visits Italy for the first time at the invitation of Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Gina Lollobridgida, Giuseppe de Santis, Alberto Moravia and other cultural figures. He draws portraits of Juletta Mazina, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Claudia Cardinale, Salvatore Adamo, Domenico Modugno, Eduardo de Filippo, Anita Ekberg and others, and creates an oil portrait of Lollobridgida. He meets with the principal scenographer of La Scala Theater in Milan, Nicola Benois, a relative of his wife Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois, and with artists Renato Guttuzo and Giorgio de Chirico. On April 26 an exhibition of the artist’s works opens at “La Nuova Pesa” gallery in Rome, on via del Vantaggio. In press conferences Glazunov sharply criticizes abstractionism and modern directions in art, underlining the significance of the rich legacy of Christian civilization. He draws illustrations to works of Pavel Ivanovich Mel’nikov (Andrei Pechersky): “In the Forests,” “On the Hills,” “Princess Tarakanova and the Princess of Vladimir,” and others for a six-volume collection of the author’s works, published by Biblioteka Ogon’ka. He travels to Zavolzhye and paints “Russian Icarus”. Glazunov receives an award from the “Ogonyok” magazine for his illustrations of Russian classic novels.
He works on illustrations to the works of Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin “The Pit,” “The Duel,” “The Breguet,” “Zhaneta,” and “Moloch” for a nine-volume collection of the author’s works published by Biblioteka Ogon’ka. He paints a portrait of M. Yu. Lermontov and illustrations to his poem “Mtsyri” (Novice). In the painting “Two Princes” and others, Glazunov addresses the topic of Old Russian history. He paints “Russian Icarus”. He writes the autobiographical work “Road to You. From the Notes of the Artist,” in which he lays out his views on the role of the artist. On March 22 an article entitled “Isn’t it Time to Stop Breaking Spears?” appears in the newspaper “Izvestiya,” signed by notable scholars and writers. The article addresses the subject of organizing a one-man exhibition of Glazunov’s work in Moscow, as yet barred by the USSR Artist’s Union. On May 8 a special evening is held in the auditorium of the Mendeleev Russian University of Chemistry and Technology devoted to the topic of Old Russian culture. During the meeting a decision is taken to create a “Club for Enthusiasts of Old Russian Culture,” which later becomes known as the patriotic club “Rodina” (Homeland). Glazunov becomes in effect the organizer and director of the club. In mid June, in light of his recent success in Italy, the Minister of Culture, Yekaterina Alekseyevna Furtseva, grants the artist permission to hold an exhibition in the administrative building of the Manege in Moscow, on the side facing the Kremlin’s Troitskaya Tower and where, in particular, the painting “Roads of War” is exhibited. On June 19 a letter appears in the “Vechernaya Moskva” newspaper, addressed to the editorial staff and signed by several Moscow artists, protesting the opening of the exhibition. Five days later the exhibition is closed at the orders of the Moscow Artist’s Union. During the summer he paints a portrait of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’, Aleksy I (Simansky) and other members of the Russian Orthodox Church. In the fall, the Italian La Scala Theater tours in Moscow. Glazunov draws more than twenty portraits, including portraits of conductors Gerbert von Karayan and Gianandrea Gavazzeni, chief art director Nikkolo Benois, sopranos Gabriella Tucci and Mirella Freni, bass Nicolai Ghiaurov, and others. He personally presents his subjects with their portraits, since the USSR Ministry of Culture refuses to allow them to be displayed as a memento of the tour. An article in the October issue of the magazine “Tvorchestvo” written by art critic Aleksandr Abramovich Kamensky entitled “Sphinx Without a Riddle” outlines the main grievances leveled against Glazunov by Soviet critics. He paints an entire series of works reflecting feelings of creative isolation and lack of understanding: “The Prophet,” “Autumn,” and others. He also draws the portraits of workers of the Moscow Weaving Mill No. 2 for the magazine “Molodaya Gvardia.” At the October Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nikita Sergeyevich Khruschev is removed from all duties. Leonid Il’yich Brezhnev becomes first secretary of the Central Committee.
In February the Moscow Regional Administration of Culture and the regional Komsomol Committee give their official approval to the club “Rodina”. Glazunov is issued a studio located in the top floor of the “Mossel’prom” Building on Kalashny Pereulok. On July 28, the RSFSR Council of Ministers initiates the formation of the All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPiK). Glazunov becomes a member of the organizing committee. He travels to Novgorod and the Russian North and paints the works “Citizen Veliky Novgorod” and “The Village of Kuliga. Near the Kirillov Monastery.” In October the “Molodaya Gvardiya” begins publication of Glazonov’s autobiographic short story “Road to You. From the Artist’s Notes.” He paints the works “Spring in the City,” “Old Courtyard,” “Mouse Trap,” “XX Century. In a Restaurant,” and others. Lermontov’s poem “Mtsyri,” with illustrations by Glazunov, is published.
In early June, he is elected a member of the board of directors at the organizational congress of VOOPiK. In September he is invited to Denmark to paint the portrait of Premier Minister Jens Otto Krag. He also paints the portraits of his wife, film actress Helle Virkner, and children. An exhibition of his works is held that autumn in Copenhagen. In November the artist’s uncle, Mikhail Fyodorovich Glazunov, passes away. His uncle had been a strong influence on his artistic development. Glazunov’s critical stance towards contemporary Soviet life is reflected in the canvases “In a Cage (Hunchback),” and “The Elevator Operator.”
In February he travels with writer Sergei Aleksandrovich Vysotsky via Vladivostok to Vietnam as a special correspondent for the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda,” culminating in a series of 150 works created in a 23-day period. In late March an exhibition of the Vietnam Series of works opens on “Jeweler’s” Street in Hanoi’s old quarter, and enjoys great success. Upon the artist’s return to Moscow, the works are displayed in the House of Friendship with Peoples of Foreign Countries. A collection of reproductions, “Days and Nights of Vietnam,” is published (M., Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo). Glazunov is accepted into the graphic art section of the USSR Artist’s Union, having received recommendations from Boris Yefimovich Yefimov and Orest Georgievich Nissky. He spends the fall in Laos, at the invitation of Laotian king Sisavang Vatthana, where he paints portraits of royal family members as well as landscapes. He also creates drawings portraying contemporary life. On November 9, 1967 he is awarded the Laotian Order of Vishnu. He receives a certificate of merit from the Soviet Peace Committee. At the urging of party organs and the Moscow branch of VOOPiK, the “Rodina” club founded by the artist is shut down. In its place a new club is created with a greatly restricted scope of activity, essentially reduced to restoration works in the Krutitsky Church. In new works on themes of Russian history he employs the technique of collage as well as methods related to Old Russian art and folk primitivism: “Boris Godunov, “Tsarevich Dimitry,” “The Nyonoksa Churchyard,” and others.
In April he travels to Paris at the invitation of Yves Montand, Simone Signouret, Yvette Chauvire, and Count Sergei Mikhailovich Tolstoy to paint the portrait of the president of France, Charles de Gaulle. In June the artist’s exhibition opens in the “Mona Lisa” Gallery on Rue de Varenne in St. Germaine-de-pre. He spends three months in Paris, and witnesses the student uprisings. Glazunov paints the portraits of members of the French cabinet of ministers: Edgar Faure, Pierre Billotte, Louis Joxe, and others. He meets the leader of the ultra-right party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and paints his portrait. He conceives of the idea for the painting “Mystery of the Twentieth Century.” He meets with artists Bernard Buffet and Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov. Glazunov makes the acquaintance of historian Nikolai Nikolaevich Rutchenko (pseudonym - N. Rutych), Prince Nikolai Vasil’evich Vyrubov, Arkady Petrovich Stolypin, and other Russian emigres. He also meets with Galina Leonidovna Brezhneva, who attends the exhibition while visiting Paris. In September he travels to the Russian North, which leads to the creation of a series of works: “Russian North,” “The Walls of the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery,” “Golden Autumn. Rus’,” “Northern Stronghold,” “Belozersk,” and others.
That winter he visits the Nureksk Hydroelectric plant at the invitation of its management and paints portraits of the construction workers as well as landscapes. In late June a one-man exhibition of Glazunov’s work is held in Moscow at the House of Culture and Technology of the Moscow Main Administration of Building Materials on Volkhonka Street. He works on illustrations to a collection of works by Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, published by Biblioteka Ogon’ka. Son Ivan is born on October 3rd. In November an exhibition is held in the Club of the Perfume manufacturing plant “New Dawn.” He paints “Storm of Hail,” “After the Battle,” “Portrait of a Girl from the Volga,” “Nina,” and others. He continues work on illustrations to A. K. Tolstoy’s works.
1970 – 1979
He draws illustrations to works of Dostoevsky, Nekrasov, Blok, Leskov, and Goncharov. Glazunov’s first Leningrad exhibition, held in the District Officer’s Building, is ordered shut down by the Leningrad Regional Party Committee. The first monograph about the artist is published. He takes a creative trip to Chile, and travels to India. The artist’s daughter Vera is born. He travels to Finland for an exhibition in Helsinki followed by one in Stockholm, Sweden. Exhibitions are held in cities of the Federal Republic of West Germany (GDR) and the German Democratic Republic (FRG). The artist is awarded the “Golden Medal,” the highest award of the Society of German-Russian Friendship. A creative “exile” to Siberia, to the construction site of the Baikal-Amur Railway, results in the series “BAM.” He visits the Optina Monastery (Optina Pustyn). An exhibition is held in Moscow at the Manege, and another in Tokyo. Glazunov collaborates with his wife on the stage design for Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor’” at the Berlin State Opera. He begins teaching at the Surikov State Art Institute in Moscow. As the 600-year anniversary of the Kulikovo Battle approaches, he works feverishly on the series “Kulikovo Field.”
Glazunov draws illustrations to Dostoyevsky’s novels “Netochka Nezvnova” and “White Nights,” as well as for a collection of works by Nikolai Alekseyevich Nekrasov, poems “Orina, the Soldier’s Mother,” “Railroad,” and others.
The artist receives an invitation to paint the portrait of Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, who is dissatisfied with the portrait painted by Dmitry Arkad’evich Nalbandyan, but he is denied permission to leave the country. In late summer Glazunov is visited in Moscow by Vasily Vital’evich Shul’gin. He works on illustrations to the lyric cycles of Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok, “Verses About the Beautiful Lady,” “Snow Mask,” as well as individual verses.
The first Leningrad exhibition opens in the regional House of Officers on Liteiny Prospekt, only to be shut down at the orders of the Leningrad Regional Party Committee. On November 1, the “Rodina” Club, founded in 1964, is shut down. Glazunov paints several canvases depicting scenes from the history of Old Rus’: “Prince Oleg and Igor’,” “The Chronicler,” and “Peroun.” The first monograph about the artist, written by I. V. Yazykovaya, is published in the USSR (M., Izobrazitel’noe Iskusstvo). He paints portraits of CPSU Politburo members Aleksey Nikolayevich Kosygin, Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov, and Kirill Trofimovich Mazurov.
Dostoyevsky’s novel “White Nights” with illustrations by Glazunov is published (M., Khudozhestvennaya literatura). He spends the period from May through July on a creative working trip to Chile sponsored by the “Novosti” Press Agency. He paints the portrait of Chilean President Salvador Allende. July 18 marks the opening of an exhibition based on the artist’s experiences in Santiago. The exhibition is opened by President Allende. The artist visits New York on his return trip from Chile.On September 11 Allende is killed during a military coup. Allende’s portrait is burned during the storming of La Moneda Palace. The album “Chile through an Artist’s Eye” (M.,Izobraziytel’noe Iskusstvo) is published. In September the exhibition “Chile Under the Banner of People’s Unity” opens in the exhibition hall of the USSR Artist’s Union in Moscow. He travels to Finland at the invitation of Yuko Paasikivi of the Pamyat Society to paint the portrait of President Urkho Kekkonen. In November Glazunov travels to India where he paints the portrait of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the space of 12 days. He visits the ancient towns of India and studies their various treasures. On November 30 he receives the title “Honored RFSFR Worker of the Arts.” He paints a portrait of general secretary of the CPSU, Leonid Brezhnev, at his request. He draws illustrations to the works of Nikolai Semenovich Leskov, including “Lady MacBeth of the Mtensk District,” “The Enchanted Wanderer,” “Lefty,” “The Master Hairdresser,” and others, for a six-volume collection of the author’s works published as part of Biblioteka Ogon’ka, and illustrations to a poem by Nikolai Alekseyevich Nekrasov, “the Red Nosed Frost.” Daughter Vera is born on January 30.
In May Glazunov is honored with an award by the USSR Journalist’s Union for his “series of drawings about Chile.” In the summer an exhibition is held in Stockholm’s City Hall where some 180 oil paintings and drawings/graphic works are displayed. He paints two portraits of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav. On August 29 the paper “Sovetskaya Rossiya” publishes a letter signed by Glazunov and several members of the Commission for Folk Art under the RSFSR Artist’s Union calling for the creation of a Central Museum of Folk Art. In the fall he returns to Stockholm at the invitation of Swedish businessman Axel Johnson. He paints the portraits of Johnson and his wife. Together with architect Aleksandr Polikarpov he works on a design for the State Museum of Palekh Art, which he continues to work on until 1978. He paints the historical-themed works: “Bylina” (Past Days) and “Ivan the Terrible,” as well as “Portrait of Innokenty Smoktunovsky with Daughter.”
Glazunov works on illustrations to the 2-volume collection of works by Ivan Savvich Nikitin, published by the “Pravda” Publishing House. The album “Song of Chile” is published (M., Izdatel’stvo agentstva pechati Novosti). During the months of January and February the artist’s works are displayed at an exhibition in Helsinki’s exhibition hall, the “Taidehalli.” President Urkho Kekkonen, who authored the introduction to the catalog, is present at the grand opening. Over 150 works are displayed. Some forty-thousand visitors attend the exhibition, a record number for Finland. In March, in Delhi, the artist is awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru award for his portrait of Indira Gandhi and the fostering of Indian-Soviet friendship. In May he visits Paris where he is acquainted with ballet choreographer and collector Sergei Mikhailovich Lifar. That summer Glazunov’s exhibition is shown in the East German cities of Berlin (Altes Museum) and Leipzig. The East German Ministry of Culture commissions a series of portraits of notable East Germans, including singer and actor Ernst Bush. He is invited by the director of the State Berlin Opera to work on the stage design for the opera “Prince Igor’,” by Aleksandr Porfir’evich Borodin and signs a contract with the theater. In mid-November his exhibition opens in West Berlin, in the “Dom Delyora” gallery, where over 100 of his works are on display. The exhibition is a great success and is extended for several more days. That December in Germany Glazunov is awarded the “Gold Medal” — the highest award of the Society of German-Soviet Friendship.
In February Glazunov is one of a small group who attend the funeral of Vasily Vital’evich Shul’gin at the “Baigushi” Cemetery in Vladimir. On October 20 the documentary film “The Artist Ilya Glazunov,” directed by Pavel Vasilyevich Rusanov, premieres at the Moscow film theater “Oktyabr’.” During the spring and summer the artist’s exhibitions are held in the West German cities Dusseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, and Hamburg. While in Germany he gives an interview to correspondent of “Radio Freedom,” Oleg Krasovsky, in which he explains his views on the development of the arts in the twentieth century. In Cologne, in his room at the Hotel “Interconti,” he finishes the large-scale work “Mystery of the Twentieth Century,” first conceived in 1968. The painting is viewed by the Prime Minister of Bavaria and General Secretary of the Christian-Social Union Party, Franz Josef Strauss. In November Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev presents the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, with his portrait, painted by Glazunov. Glazunov is awarded the Silver Medal of the World Peace Council. In West Germany, John Barron’s book “KGB. Letter to Nine” is published, in which the author accuses Glazunov of having ties to that organization. In December a Hamburg court rules in favor of Glazunov’s libel action against the author. Barron is forced to pay a fine of sixty thousand West German marks for spreading slander in printed form. The magazine “Spiegel” features the article “Judicial Phenomenon.”
In June an exhibition to be shown inside the Artist’s Union on Kuznetsky Most is cancelled due to Glazunov’s refusal to remove “Mystery of the Twentieth Century.” In July and August he embarks on a creative “exile” to Siberia, to the construction site of the Baikal-Amur Main Line (BAM). He lives among the workers in a small taiga settlement, where in the period of little more than one month’s time he creates over two hundred works, which comprise the artist’s “BAM”series. The works are displayed in Irkutsk. Prior to commencing work illustrating Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov,” Glazunov visits the Optina Pustyn Monastery, partially demolished and shut down in 1918. He completes work in collaboration with architect Aleksandr Pavlovich Polikarpov on the design for the Museum of Folk Art in Palekh. He paints the works “Return of the Prodigal Son” and “Russian Venus,” as well as illustrations to a novel by Ivan Andreyevich Goncharov, “The Precipice,” for a collection of the author’s works in eight volumes, published by Khudozhestvennaya Literatura (M. 1977 - 1980).
In March Glazunov travels to New York at the invitation of UN General Secretary Kurt Waldheim. He paints Waldheim’s portrait, which is presented to him as a gift from the Soviet government. Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel “Netochka Nezvanova,” illustrated by Glazunov, is published. In June an exhibition opens at the Manege in Moscow, where over four hundred works are showcased. In the fall an exhibition is held in Tokyo. Glazunov collaborates with wife Nina Aleksandrovna on the set design for the opera “Prince Igor’” at the Berlin State Opera, which premieres to great acclaim in early October (stage direction by Boris Aleksandrovich Pokrovsky). He visits the legendary island of Rugen, the location of the Slavic shrine Arkona and thought to be the birthplace of Rusyin Odoakr, who led the overthrow of the Roman Empire. At the invitation of UNESCO he creates the panel painting “Contribution of the Peoples of the USSR to World Culture and Civilization” for the organization’s headquarters in Paris. He paints the portraits of the Spanish ambassador to the USSR, Juan Antonio Samaranch and his wife. Glazunov works on illustrations to verses by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok: “Neznakomka,” “Ellina,” and others. He creates the scenery for the musical “Black Bridle White Mare,” at the Jewish Chamber Musical Theater (text in Yiddish - Chaim Beider; Russian text - Ilya Rakhmielevich Reznik; music and staging - Yuri Borisovich Sherling). The musical has a very successful premiere in Birobidzhan on November 10, and runs later in Moscow. In the fall Glazunov begins teaching at the V. Surikov Moscow State Institute of Art, heading up the department of studio portraiture.
In the spring the artist’s exhibition runs in the town of Ivanovo. The album “The Writer and the Artist” (with text by Vladimir Soloukhin) and “BAM” (M., Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo) are published. Glazunov is awarded the title “People’s Artist of the RSFSR.” In October an exhibition opens in Leningrad. With the 600-year anniversary of the Battle of Kulikovo Field approaching, the artist works feverishly on the series of works “Kulikovo Field,” and paints the canvases “Seeing off the Troops,” “Battle,” “Khan Mamai,” “The Vision of Boris and Gleb,” “Regiment Waiting in Ambush,” and more. He is awarded the title of corresponding member of the San Jorge Academy of Arts in Barcelona. In September he is named Honorary Member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid and the San Jorge Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona. In October an exhibition opens in the Leningrad Manege, followed in November by a showing in West Berlin. The State Committee for Radio and Television Broadcasting under the USSR Council of Ministers commissions a documentary film about the artist (directors Margarita Veniaminovna Tyupkina and Dmitry Dmitriyevich Vasil’ev), but the project is later shelved due to excessive dramatic elements, an overabundance of religious architecture, and the Russian Orthodox spirit of works based on themes of Old Rus’. Glazunov draws illustrations to verses by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok “Autumn Love,” “Blue Knight,” “Lilac,” “In the Restaurant,” and others.
1980 – 1989
Glazunov is awarded the title “People’s Artist of the USSR. He collaborates with his wife on the stage design and costumes for Tchaikovsky’s opera “Queen of Spades” for the Berlin State Opera. He works on stage design and costumes for the ballet “Masquerade” with music by A. I. Khachaturian for the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Odessa. He serves as artistic set manager for Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Tale of the Invisible Town of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya” for the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Exhibitions of Glazunov’s work are shown in major European capitals, as well as Russian and Ukrainian cities. He continues work on illustrations to a 12-volume collection of Dostoyevsky’s works. He takes a creative sojourn to Nicaragua, where he creates the “Nicaragua Diary” series of works. He visits Cuba, and paints a portrait of Fidel Castro. An exhibition at the Moscow Manege showcases 30-years of the artist’s works. Glazunov is appointed rector of the institute founded by him — the All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. A film about the artist, The Artist and Time,”
On June 6 Glazunov is awarded the title of “Peoples Artist of the USSR.” In the fall he completes the large-scale work “The Contribution of the Peoples of the USSR to the Development of World Culture and Civilization,” which is presented as a gift to UNESCO from the Soviet government. He paints the portrait of UNESCO director general Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow. In October an exhibition opens in Helsinki, Finland. He continues work on the “Kulikovo Field” series of works. Together with Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois he creates the set design and costumes for Tchaikovsky’s opera “Queen of Spades” for the Berlin State Opera (director-producer, Boris Aleksandrovich Pokrovsky). He meets the USSR minister of foreign affairs, Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko, and paints his portrait. He paints “Rain. Self-portrait with wife.”
At the request of the RFSFR Ministry of Culture he establishes the All Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art. The museum is officially recognized by a resolution of the RSFSR Council of Ministers dated February 10. In March Glazunov is appointed the museum’s director. He begins work on the stage design for the first production of the ballet “Masquerade,” with music by Aram I. Khachaturian, for the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Odessa (choreographers and stage managers — Natal’ya Ivanovna Ryzhenko and Viktor Viktorovich Smirnov-Golovanov). Nina A. Vinogradova-Benois creates the sketches for the costumes. Glazunov prepares illustrations for the 12-volume collection of the works of F. M. Dostoyevsky. He is awarded the title of professor of painting and composition of the V. I. Surikov Moscow State Institute of Art. Together with Oleg Antonovich Krasovsky he participates in the creation of the patriotic almanac “Veche,” which begins publication in Germany. The opera “Queen of Spades” premieres in Berlin.
In the winter the artist’s exhibition opens in Milan. In April the ballet “Masquerade”, with music by Khachaturian, premieres in Odessa. Glazunov creates the scenery for the ballet and the costumes are based on sketches by his wife, Nina Vinogradova-Benois. In March and April an exhibition of Glazunov’s works is held there. On April 24 an exposition of 23 canvases from the series “Kulikovo Field” opens in 2 halls of the Tulsk Regional Art Museum, a gift from the RSFSR Ministry of Culture to the town of Tula. In the summer an exhibition is held in the Sevastopol Art Museum. The artist continues to work on illustrations to the 12-volume collection of Dostoyevsky’s works, which is published that year by Biblioteka Ogon’ka. The albums “Beyond the Don” illustrated by Glazunov (M., Khudozhestvennaya Literatura) and “Gift to UNESCO from the USSR” (M., Planeta) are published. The record company “Melodiya” puts out a 2-record set of the artist’s autobiographical short story “Road to You,” narrated by the author himself.
Glazunov continues work on illustrations to a collection of F. M. Dostoyevsky’s works. In August the newspaper “Pravda” sends him on assignment to Nicaragua, where in two week’s time he completes nearly sixty works which comprise the series “Nicaraguan Diary.” Among those are “Ballerina Blanca Guardado,” “Soldier Maximo Sanchez,” “Volcano,” and “Masaya.” He paints the portrait of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and the portraits “Ballerina Blanca Guardado” and “Soldier.” In Manila the Nicaraguan government arranges for an exhibition of Glazunov’s works entitled “Telegrams from Nicaragua,” which is attended by Ortega. He works as set designer, draws sketches, and creates stage decor for N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “The Tale of the Invisible Town of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya” at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow (producer Roman Irinarkhovich Tikhomirov). Wife Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois completes over five-hundred costume sketches, which garner the highest praise from conductor Yevgeny Fyodorovich Svetlanov. The opera premieres in December, conducted by Svetlanov. In the summer the works of students studying portraiture under Glazunov at the V. I. Surikov Institute are exhibited at the Central House of Art Workers (TsDRI). Glazunov paints the portrait of writer Vladimir Alekseyevich Soloukhin.
The albums “Telegrams from Nicaragua (M., Novosti Publishing House) and “The Artist and Time: Ilya Glazunov” (M., Sovetskaya Rossiya) with text by Oleg Vasil’yevich Volkov, author of “Descent into Darkness,” the famous book that chronicles 28 years spent in Stalin’s prisons and labor camps, are published. Together with his students Glazunov visits the Novgorod, Izborsk and Pskovo-Pecherskaya monasteries, which becomes a yearly tradition. In the fall the artist’s exhibition opens in Havana. He paints a portrait of the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, who has never posed for artists and made an exception only for Ilya Glazunov. In September he is invited to Rome to paint the portrait of Italian President Alessandro Pertini. The portrait now hangs in the Quirinal Palace. An exhibition opens there in the Ethnographic Museum. In November the exhibition moves to Lisbon, Portugal. Exhibitions are held in Yoshkar-Ola, Yaroslavl, and Gorky. Glazunov creates the works “Hymn to the Heros” and “After the Performance,” as well as an oil portrait of writer Sergei Aleksandrovich Vysotsky and a portrait of film producer Sergei Fyodorovich Bondarchuk.
In January the mayor of Madrid, Enrique Tierno Galvan, officially opens an exhibition of Glazunov’s works at the Central Exhibition Hall of the Spanish capital. Glazunov is received by Secretary General of the Communist Party Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who is in agreement with the artist’s idea of establishing an All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. He is awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. He paints a new version of the destroyed diploma work, “The Roads of War.” In November and December Glazunov’s exhibition runs in Rome at the National Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions. More than 190 works are placed on display. At the recommendation of Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko he is commissioned to create a design for the new Soviet consulate in Madrid. He creates the triptych “Legend of the Grand Inquisitor,” and the paintings “the Youth of Andrei Rublev,” “Dostoyevsky. Night,” and Telephone Booth.”
The albums “Ilya Glazunov (M., Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo) and “Images of F. M. Dostoyevsky illustrated by Ilya Glazunov (M., Planeta) are published. May 24 marks the tragic death of Nina Aleksandrovna Vinogradova-Benois. In June through July an exhibition honoring 30 years of the artist’s works runs in the Moscow Manege. The exhibition, which includes over 600 works, is displayed at the Manege in Leningrad during the months of September and October. In Madrid construction begins on the new Soviet embassy building based on Glazunov’s design. The artist draws up plans for the building’s interior design as well. In December an exhibition opens in Irkutsk. Glazunov paints the works: “Goodbye,” “October Fires,” the triptych “Grandsons of Gostomysl,” “Yaroslavl,” “Welcoming the New Year,” “Mother of a Hero,” “Self Portrait with Family,” “Collective Farm Warehouse,” and “Girl with Dandelion.”
Glazunov is appointed rector of the academy he founded — the All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. The academy is assigned the historical building belonging to the former Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, located at 21 Myasnitskaya Street. That spring an exhibition is held at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. In May Glazunov travels to Dusseldorf to meet with famous German sculptor Arno Breker, and paints his portrait. That summer an exhibition of the artist’s works is held in Nicosia, Cyprus. In November an exhibition opens in Paris, in a gallery on the Champs-Elysees. He is invited to Lugano, Switzerland, to the villa of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-bornemisza, where he paints a double portrait of the baron and baroness Carmen Thyssen-bornemisza. A film about Glazunov, “the Artist and Time,” produced by Pavel Vasil’yevich Rusanov, is released. Glazunov completes the works “The Wave,” “Rainbow (Vision),” and “Childhood of the Cosmonaut,” as well as portraits of writer Valentin Grigoryevich Rasputin, poet Andrei Dmitrievich Dement’ev, and international journalist Tomas Anatol’evich Kolesnichenko.
In July an exhibition opens in the Palace of Youth in Moscow, the proceeds from which the artist donates to charitable purposes. The paintings “Mystery of the Twentieth Century,” “Eternal Russia,” and others are displayed publicly for the first time, which generates a huge amount of viewer interest. An exhibition in October at the Leningrad Manege and another in Odessa receive the same enthusiastic response. Glazunov is named director of the cooperative association “Grad Kitezh,” formed to encourage the talents of young artists. In the fall, for the first time in the history of Soviet arts education, he travels together with his students to Spain. In an interview for Spanish newspaper “ABC” he speaks about his monarchist views while denouncing communism, and names Pyotr Arkad’evich Stolypin as his favorite historical statesman. On November 4 “Izvestiya” publishes an article by Vladimir Leonidovich Vernikov entitled “Export Glasnost,” in which the author harshly criticizes the artist’s position. He paints the works “Zarathustra,” “Lake of Tears,” “Window,” and “Street.”
In January the artist’s exhibition opens in Kiev, in the halls of the Ukrainian SSR Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is a success, and the artist is granted the permission of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party to restore the grave of Pyotr Arkad’evich Stolypin in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. In January he visits Hamburg for the city’s 880-year anniversary. An exhibition of Glazunov’s works opens there later. In April the artist’s works are displayed in Donetsk. October marks the start of courses at the All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. An exhibition opens in Yalta, followed in November - December by another in Novosibirsk. Glazunov donates earnings from the Novosibirsk exhibition to the restoration of a chapel marking the geographical center of Russia. He paints the works “Pavlovsk,” “On the Banks of the Neva. The Unknown Woman,” and “Saint Petersburg. The Peter and Paul Fortress,” and “Arkhangelsk for the Russian Embassy in Madrid.
1990 – 1999
Glazunov travels with a group of students to Italy, where he paints a portrait of Pope Paul IV. He creates the works “Apocalypse. The Blind Sower,” “The Wind,” “The Great Experiment,” “Glory to our Forefathers,” “Sergei Radonezh and Andrei Rublev,” Dostoyevsky,” “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane,” “My Life,” and “Russia, Awaken!” Exhibitions are held in Perm, Sverdlovsk, Kuibyshev, Syktyvar, Dnepropetrovsk, Kislovodsk and Krasnodar. The documentary film “The Russia of Ilya Glazunov is released. He is awarded the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” IV class. Glazunov wins in an architectural design competition for the
reconstruction of the 14th Building of the Moscow Kremlin. In a public poll taken by VTSIOM (the Russian Public Opinion Research Center), he is named “The Most Outstanding Artist of the XX Century.” UNESCO awards the artist “the Golden Medal of Picasso” for his great contribution to culture and art. The exhibition “God Preserve Russia” opens in the Moscow Manege.
In May over 400 of the artist’s works are displayed in the Moscow Manege. On May 27 Boris Yeltsin, Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, visits the exhibition. In October the exhibition is held in the Leningrad Manege. Throughout the year the artist’s works are exhibited in Voronezh, Kirov, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Alma Ata. In October and November, supported by the Society of the Jesuit Order “La Civilta Cattolica,” Glazunov travels to Italy together with students from his academy. He paints the portrait of Pope John Paul II who grants an audience to the delegation of artists, instructors and students. Philosopher Padre Gennare lectures in Italian universities on the significance of Glazunov’s art. In the fall he also visits Luxembourg where he paints the portraits of Grand Duke Jean and his wife. Glazunov creates the works “Apocalypse. Blind Sower,” “The Harbor,” “The Wind,” “Nina with Lilies of the Valley,” as well as portraits of singer Iosif Davydovich Kobson and Oleg Antonovich Krasovsky. He completes the canvas “The Great Experiment.”
In mid March the artist is awarded the silver medal of the town of L’Aquila, Italy, for outstanding achievements in the sphere of science and the arts. Exhibitions are held in the winter through spring in Perm, Sverdlovsk, Kuibyshev, Syktyvkar, Dneprepetrovsk, Kislovodsk, and Krasnodar. On November 15 the Urals filial of the Ilya Glazunov All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture opens in Perm. In Madrid construction work is completed on the Russian Embassy, with interior design carried out under the artistic direction of Glazunov. In the fall he visits Madrid, where he paints the portrait of King of Spain Juan Carlos I. The documentary film “The Russia of Ilya Glazunov” is released (director Ninel’ Dmitrievna Yegorycheva).
Glazunov makes the acquaintance of Inessa Dmitrievna Orlova, who becomes an assistant and faithful companion to the artist. He paints the works “Glory to our Forefathers,” “Sergius of Radonezh and Andrei Rublev,” “F. M. Dostoyevsky,” “Night,” “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane,” and others. He paints the portraits of Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov and his wife.
In the early spring Glazunov visits the village of Betkovo near Luga, where he spent much time in his childhood and youth. He becomes a member of a commission formed in accordance with a decree by the Russian Federation dated October 23 to investigate questions related to the reburial of the remains of Russian Emperor Nikolai II and members of his family. He speaks out categorically against the validity of the remains, supporting the position of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In July an exhibition held at the Moscow Manege displays works by Glazunov and students of his academy. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and director general of UNESCO, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, are both in attendance. Glazunov completes work on the canvas “My Life” and paints “Russia Awaken!,” “The Black White House,” “Our St. Petersburg,” “Memories of my Wife,” “Venetian Adaggio,” “Banishment from Paradise,” “For Humanitarian Aid,” “A. S. Pushkin. On the Eve,” “Christ the Warrior,” “Spring. The Church Spas-na-Nerli,” “Ancient Vologda,” and others.
The first group of students graduate from the All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. On May 29 Glazunov is awarded the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland IV Class,” for contribution to the state and advances in labour, and significant contributions to promoting friendship and cooperation between nations. On July 10 President Boris Yeltsin signs a decree renaming the All-Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and appointing Glazunov rector for life. In late July the academy is visited by Naina Yeltsin, wife of the president, together with the head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna, with daughter and grandson. They thank the artist for the preservation of the Russian national school of high realism. On November 23, two exhibitions open in the St. Petersburg Manege: “Ilya Glazunov,” and “New Names in Russian Realism.” In the latter exhibition viewers are introduced to the works of Glazunov’s students. He paints the epic landscapes “Russian Land” and “Cloud. Volga - Russian River,” and portraits of the editor-in-chief of newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets,” Pavel Nikolayevich Gusev and writer Lev Yefimovich Kolodnov. He is denied membership in the Russian Academy of Arts for the seventh time.
Glazunov wins an architectural design competition for the reconstruction of the 14th Building of the Moscow Kremlin. He is entrusted by the administration of the president, and personally by Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin with the task of designing the interiors for the so-called guest annex adjoining the Grand Kremlin Palace and built on the site of the former Church of the Savior on Bor. He is appointed artistic director of restoration work on the Aleksandrovsky and Andreyevsky Halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace and the interior design for the 14th (presidential) Building of the Kremlin. He works out the interior design plan for the presidential airplane. In April Glazunov’s works are exhibited in Saratov. In the fall the artist’s residence and studio on Bol’shoi Devyatinsky Pereulok undergo remodeling and construction based on his designs. The magazine “Nash Sovremennik” publishes excerpts from the autobiographical work “Russia Crucified.” He paints “The Prophet,” “Portrait of Mr. Kim,” and “Portrait of Zhenya Kim.”
Glazunov completes plans for the interior of the Kremlin’s 14th Building. In August an exhibition opens in Orenburg. He is appointed a member of the commission of the Russian Federation on UNESCO affairs and is elected corresponding member of the Russian Academy of the Arts. He is awarded the State prize of the Russian Federation for his work on the interiors of the Moscow Kremlin. He completes the works “Guardian Angel” and “Tsar’s Village.”
Glazunov continues to supervise restoration work carried out according to his designs in the Moscow Kremlin. He paints “Russian Winter” and “Lazarus Raised, Metropolitan Cyprian.”
In a poll taken by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center Glazunov is named “The Most Outstanding Artist of the XX Century.” On September 9 the UNESCO award “The Golden Medal of Picasso” is personally presented to the artist by UNESCO General Director Federico Mayor for his great contribution to culture and art. The mayor of Moscow signs a decree authorizing the establishment of the Ilya Glazunov Moscow State Picture Gallery. He is awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, Degree 1. In early November the Russian Academy of Sciences presents Glazunov with a certificate confirming that a minor planet has been named after him. He completes work on the large-scale canvases “Market of Our Democracy” and “Destruction of the Church on Easter Eve.” He paints “Self Portrait,” “Russian Romance,” “Rus’,” “Christ and the Antichrist,” “The Patient. The Last Leaf,” and others. On December 24 the exhibition “God Preserve Russia” opens in the Moscow Manege showcasing over 150 new works, including “The Market of Our Democracy” and “The Destruction of the Church on Easter Eve.”
2000 – 2017
The artist is awarded the Order for Merit to the Fatherland, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st class, for outstanding contributions in the sphere of domestic fine arts and education. A documentary film about Glazunov’s life and work, “Black Water, White Block of Ice,” is released. The Moscow State Gallery of People’s Artist of the USSR, Ilya Glazunov, opens its doors on 13 Volkhonka Street. He is awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, “For Faith and Loyalty.”
Glazunov’s gallery is visited by Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus of New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside Russia. At the Moscow Manege an exhibition opens to commemorate the artist’s 80th birthday, together with a photo exposition entitled “The Artist and Time.” The Russian Orthodox Church awards Glazunov the Order of Andrei Rublev, 1st Class.
In early February the artist’s exhibition opens in the St. Petersburg Manege. In the spring, during the shooting of the documentary film about the artist’s life and work, he pays a visit to Betkovo, near Luga, the place of his childhood and early youth. On June 9 he is awarded the “Order of Merit to the Fatherland” for his outstanding contribution to the development of national fine arts.
In early February an exhibition of works of students of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture opens in the Central House of Workers in the Arts, TsDRI. Glazunov is elected a full member of the Russian Academy of the Arts. He paints “Evening Chimes,” “Zhukovka. Spring,” and “Memories of my Mother. 1942. Leningrad.”
On April 15 at a ceremonial session in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour celebrating the 140th birthday of Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin, the public is presented with a portrait by Glazunov of the great reformer. He drafts a preliminary drawing which his students Ivan Ilyich Glazunov, Oleg Fyodorovich Shtykhno and Vladimir Al’bertovich Shtein use as the basis for painting the enormous canvas “Great China,” completed in 2004 (artist’s private collection).
Glazunov paints “Eve. Year 1917,” “The Decline of Europe,” “Novgorod Village of Greblo. Great Lake,” and others. A documentary film is released based on the artist’s life and work, “Black Water, White Block of Ice” (director Sergei L’vovich Braverman).
August 31 marks the opening of the Moscow State Gallery of People’s Artist of the USSR, Ilya Glazunov. The exhibition is comprised of 306 of the artist’s works along with a collection of Old Russian icons personally rescued and restored by him. All the works are presented as a gift to Russia and her ancient capital, Moscow. On October 11 in Peking, in celebration of the 55-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and China, the public is presented with the canvas “Great China.” Glazunov completes “Memory of Childhood. Leningrad Blockade,” “Volga,” “Wolves,” and others.
In May a conference is held inside the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture dedicated to the work of Glazunov. On June 9, in celebration of his 75th birthday, and for his “great contribution to the development of national fine arts and active public work” he is awarded a diploma by the Moscow government. On September 30 an exhibition of over 30 of the artist’s works opens at the Omsk M. A. Vrubel’ Regional Museum of Fine Arts. On October 11 he is awarded the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland, 2nd Class, for outstanding contributions in the sphere of national fine arts and education.
On December 21 Russian President Vladimir Putin pays a visit to the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and praises the work of Glazunov and the educational institution of which he is rector.
On March 12 an exhibition of over one thousand works by the students and professorial staff of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, timed to coincide with the 20-year anniversary of the Academy’s founding, opens in the Moscow Manege. On October 3 an exhibition entitled “The Russia of Ilya Glazunov” opens in the Vologodsk Regional Picture Gallery. On December 13 Glazunov is awarded the Order of the Fund of St. Andrew the Apostle, “For Faith and Loyalty.” On December 15 the gallery is visited by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, who congratulates the artist on 50 years of creative work. On December 24 an exhibition of the artist’s works opens in the Vladimir-Suzdal’ Museum reserve. He paints the landscape “Rostov-Veliky, and “Still Life.”
On February 26 Glazunov’s gallery is visited by Metropolitan Laurus of New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. On October 17 an exhibition of the artist’s work opens in Saransk, at the S. D. Erzi Museum. He paints the landscape “Kizhi.” In November he takes part in the television project “The Name Russia,” presenting viewers with the historical figure of Ivan the Terrible.
On June 10, Premier Minister Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin visits the Moscow State Gallery of People’s Artist of the USSR, Ilya Glazunov, where he announces the renaming of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture after the artist. The artist completes “And Once Again Spring,” “My Youth. Lakhta,” “Russian Song,” “Summer Day,” “Poet Alexander Blok and the Unknown Lady,” and other works.
On April 23 the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture hosts an International Academic Conference in honor of the 80th birthday of its founder and rector. On May 21 an exhibition showcasing over 30 works from the artist’s collection, including portraits, landscapes and topical works, opens in Helsinki’s “Kiasma” Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition remains open until August, after which it is shown in the town of Vaasa in western Finland. On May 27 an exhibition in celebration of the artist’s 80th birthday, including the photo exposition “The Artist and Time” highlighting pages from his life, opens in the Moscow Manege. Over fifty new works are displayed, including the large-scale canvas “Dispossession of the Kulaks,” reflecting the tragic fate of the Russian peasant. On June 10 Glazunov is awarded the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” 1st Class, for outstanding contributions to the development of national fine arts and many years of creative and educational activity. On October 14 he pays a visit to the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris and meets with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova. On December 4 he is awarded the Order of Andrei Rublev, 1st Class, by the Russian Orthodox Church for his outstanding contribution to the development of Russian fine arts, and in honor of his 80th birthday. He paints “Suzdal,” “Carrying the Cross,” “Birds of Paradise of Old Rus’. Sirin and Alkonost,” “Megapolis,” “Firebird,” “Portrait of Archimandrite Tikhon, Abbot of the Sretensky Monastery,” and others.
On November 4 a jubilee exhibition opens in the St. Petersburg Manege, showcasing approximately 120 works. In response to a multitude of requests, the exhibition is extended for one week. Glazunov paints “Driving the Money Changers from the Temple.”