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Museum Collection

Illustrations by I. Charskaya for the Novels of M.A. Sholokhov

The unpublished illustrations for the novels “And Quiet Flows the Don” and “Virgin Soil Upturned” by M.A. Sholokhov, as well as landscapes, portraits of residents of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya and neighbouring villages, by the well-known Rostov artist Irina Alekseyevna Charskaya are kept in the Museum holding. It is typical of the artist to frequent the Don theme, the art of M.A. Sholokhov.

Charskaya began her professional education in the art school of Rostov-on-Don, in 1947 she entered the Leningrad I.E. Repin Institute of Fine Arts, the graphic faculty. In 1952 she successfully graduated from it and set out working in the field of easel painting and book graphics.

Charskaya took illustrations for the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A. Sholokhov as the subject of her diploma work. Collecting the material for her diploma work she visited Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya, other old Cossack stanitsas and got enamoured of the steppe expanse of the Don landscapes and the original appearance of the Quiet Don people.

Deep psychologism is shown in the portraits of Panteley Melekhov, Grigoriy and Aksiniya, Nataliya. Looking at the illustration “At the Mill” one can’t remain indifferent. It shows vividly all the troubles of the Cossacks fighting Ukrainians.

I.A. Charskaya managed to create expressive and convincing illustrations made in watercolours by fine portraying Sholokhov’s personages. Simultaneously the artist made a series of drawings “Visiting the Sites of Vyoshenskaya”.

In the 1970-s, M.A. Sholokhov visited the studio of the Charskiys on invitation of Irina’s husband.

During their meeting Irina Alekseyevna showed her works to the writer, and M.A. Sholokhov noted, that “the illustrations by Charskaya are beautiful, but they are made in a womanish style…”

In 1985 the book by M.A. Sholokhov “Virgin Soil Upturned” illustrated by I.A. Charskaya was edited by the Rostov publishing house.

The works of the artist are frequently displayed by the Museum at the travelling exhibitions in different cities of our country.

Valentina Leonova