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Natarevich Mikhail Davidovich

Mikhail Davidovich Natarevich (September 29, 1907, Vitebsk, Russian Empire - February 23, 1979, Leningrad, USSR) - Russian Soviet artist, painter, member of the Leningrad organization of the Union of Artists of the RSFSR. Natarevich Mikhail Davidovich was born on September 29, 1907 in the city of Vitebsk. He received his initial art education in the studio of Yu. Pan (1854-1937), a painter and teacher who graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.

In 1929, Mikhail Natarevich was drafted into the Red Army. He served in a communications regiment in the Moscow Military District. After demobilization, he worked as a props in Moscow theaters, but did not become a theater artist. In 1932 he came to Leningrad and entered preparatory classes at the All-Russian Academy of Arts. In 1934 he became a student in the painting department of the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He was engaged in drawing by Mikhail Bernshtein and Semyon Abugov, painting by Alexander Savinov.

In 1936, he married Olga Alekseevna Raevskaya, a second-year student at the Institute of Architecture, with whom he had been married for 44 years. In 1937 they had a daughter, Natalia, who also later graduated from the I.E. Repin Leningrad Institute and became an architect. In 1940, the son Arkady was born, who later graduated from the V.I. Mukhina Leningrad Higher Art and Industrial School and became a monumental artist. In 1946, daughter Elena was born, who later graduated from the I.E. Repin Leningrad Institute and became a graphic artist.

In 1940, Natarevich graduated from the Institute in the workshop of Boris Johanson. The thesis is the historical painting «Kotovsky» dedicated to the hero of the Civil War of 1918-1921. Together with Natarevich, in 1940, David Alkhovsky, Evgenia Baykova, Andrei Bantikov, Olga Bogaevskaya, Alexander Dashkevich, Vsevolod Druzhinin, Zalman Zaltsman, Marianna Zernina, Pavel Ivanovsky, Nina Neratova, Maria Perepelkina, Gleb Savinov, Sergey Sidorov and other young artists graduated from the institute who later became famous painters. Close creative communication and friendship with them remained with Natarevich for many years.

In July 1940 he was accepted as a teacher at the Department of Drawing at the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. From the first days of World War II, Mikhail Natarevich was in the army, participated in battles on the Karelian Front as commander of a communications platoon. He was awarded the medals «For the Defense of the Soviet Arctic», «For the Victory over Germany». Demobilized in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant.

After demobilization in 1945-1951 he taught at the drawing department of the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. Repin, in 1955-1956 he taught drawing at the Leningrad Higher Art and Industrial College named after V. I. Mukhina. At the same time he worked creatively, first restoring the skills lost during the war years, and then in search of his own theme, hero and pictorial language.

First participated in the exhibition in 1941. Since 1947, Natarevich has been a regular participant in city, republican and all-union art exhibitions, where he had the opportunity to exhibit his works along with the works of leading artists of the fine arts of Leningrad. He painted genre and historical-revolutionary compositions, portraits, landscapes. Often turned to the events and heroes of the October Revolution of 1917 (for example, in the triptych "October", 1963). He worked in the technique of oil and tempera painting.

In a number of well-known works of the late 1940s and early 1950s (the paintings «We Will Not Forget», «Renaissance», «Citizen», «Back into Operation», «Henri Barbus in the Trenches in 1915») address the theme of the feat of the people during the war years. Stylistically, these, as well as other works of this time, shown at exhibitions, for example, «Morning» (1951), «Noon» (1950), are also a continuation and generalization of the experience gained while working on the diploma picture. In them, the artist confirms the professional mastery of the genre painter in the spirit of the classical traditions of building a household picture.

In the works of 1956-1957, the artist was fascinated by the theme of youth, a young contemporary, the new look of the country. His turn to gaining a new figurative language began with the painting «Students on the Bridge» (1957), marked in the same year with a diploma of the All-Union Art Exhibition.

In the works of the early 1960s, a recognizable individual style of the artist is formed. Its distinguishing features are the generalization of form and color, the general enhancement of the decorativeness of the painting and special attention to the plastic expressiveness of the composition. Natarevich’s transition to work in the technique of tempera painting, which more closely corresponded to the tasks set, also dates to this time.

In the 1960s and 1970s, two main themes went through Natarevich’s work: people in the whirlpool of the events of October 1917 («Patrol», triptych «October» and «Red Guards», «Call» and others), as well as images of a modern village. He found material for the last topic near Leningrad on Oredezh, where he worked every summer. Both themes are united by the image of a hero - a man from the thick of the people, firmly standing on the earth, able to take responsibility, living according to moral laws. If in the first theme his heroes are filled with the pathos of revolutionary romance, then the village images reveal the artist a subtle, sometimes ironic, but deep poetic talent. In this regard, the works «Evening» and «Midday» (both 1959-1960, from the series «Common People»), «Rinse the laundry», «Saturday» (both 1961), «Meet the goats», «At the wattle fence» are characteristic (Both 1962), «At the bus stop» (1968), «Machine operators» (1964), «Collective farm postman» (1971), «With housewarming» (1975), «Evening», «Saturday», «At the old apple tree» (All 1976), «Meeting of the herd» (1977) and others.

Penetrating female images created by the artist. A special place here is occupied by the topic of motherhood; Natarevich has addressed it throughout his life. Among the works shown by the author at the exhibitions are the works «Three Ages» and «In the sanatorium Mother and Child»  (both 1961), «Young Moms» (1964), «Firstborn» (1971), «Motherhood», «Grandmother» (both 1973) and others. They showed a desire to sing the sublime beauty of the mother’s feelings, and the artist’s special attitude to such enduring values ​​as family, filial and paternal duty.

Since 1946, Mikhail Natarevich was a member of the Leningrad organization of the Union of Artists of the RSFSR. Solo exhibitions of his works were shown in 1983 at the Leningrad Union of Artists and in 2008 at the State Russian Museum.

He died on February 23, 1979 in Leningrad at the 72nd year of his life. The works of M. D. Natarevich are in the State Russian Museum, in other museums and private collections in Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France, the USA and other countries.


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