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Cossacks Revived in the World of the Artist


On the 1 of December, 2017, the excursion and exhibition centre “People’s House” will open a personal exhibition of Alexander Shchebunyayev, member of the Russian Federation Union of Artists, member of the UNESCO Association of Fine Arts “Cossacks in the World of the Artist”.

This exhibition is a result of his two-year’s work on the theme of the Upper Don Cossacks at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries. The paintings reflect the same era as that depicted in the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov. The theme was chosen not by chance. The whole life of the painter is connected with the famous Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya and with its villages. Love for nature and opportunity to go in for a quiet creative work were the main reasons for the artists’ family to decide and settle in the homeland of M.A.Sholokhov. The proximity to the Don nature and the people living here inspire the painter to discover more and more aspects of his skill.

The exhibition shows landscapes, portraits, still-lifes and thematic compositions. In each picture, in each image and plot one can find something close to his soul, something of his own, which is inspired by memories familiar to every inhabitant of the Don country. The works displayed at the exhibition attract and invite, they immediately capture and fascinate the viewer evoking a response in the soul of each visitor.

A special place here is occupied by portraits of Cossack men and women, not only faces are shown in the paintings, but the life moments of the heroes portrayed. It should be noted that the costumes, interiors and military attributes are authentic thanks to the workers of Sholokhov Museum and the collection of old objects of P.A.Soldatov, a collector from Vyoshenskaya.

Each work reveals the world viewed by the painter in his own way. Here you see a Cossack playing the bayan and you feel: the life is good in the Don country expanse! The life-asserting trend is typical for all the works of the painter. Even in his picture “Black Raven”, which will undoubtedly attract the viewer’s attention, there is no hopeless tragedy: the Cossack in his fall from the horse seems never reach the ground and be caught by the raven, being revived in time and space.

Alexander Shchebunyayev with deep sincerity depicts his native places. His landscapes are very realistic, someone can consider them to be ingenuous, but

behind this supposed simplicity there is an infinite depth of awareness by the author of his unity with nature.

The works of the Don painter arouse interest and are highly appreciated not only by his countrymen.

Arthur Maslov, a gallerist from Toronto, goes:

“A wide range of artistic interests of the painter evokes a sense of respect. He finds interest in all genres: from the still-life and landscape to the portrait and multi-figure composition. From under his hand there come virtuosic drawings and monumental wall paintings. A lyrical girlish portrait is replaced by a battle picture, grey-haired Cossacks are followed by a child's face, then there go long-maned horses, a Don wave, a mirror-like lake, a vast steppe and again Cossacks. All the works are permeated with a deep understanding and love for the things and images depicted. That is why I just want to watch and enjoy the beautiful paintings.”

V.V.Ryazanov, an art critic, Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts: “In everything that the artist paints, there is a genuine, sincere love for the country and people he lives together honouring deeply their centuries-old traditions thus enriching the multinational culture of Russia.”

Such reviews are numerous. And each visitor of the exhibition will be able to make up his own opinion.

Genre and battle scenes, still-lifes and Don landscapes – all these are waiting for you! The personal exhibition of Alexander Shchebunyayev will run until March 28, 2018.


Tatyana Balak