Poll

Which topic do you think is under represented on our site? Leave your comments and suggestions in the section “Comments and Suggestions”
Museum Collection
Exhibitions
Museum Events
Museum – to Children
Don Cossacks
Natural Monuments
Information for Tourists
View result

Results

Museum Collection
1 (11%)
Exhibitions
1 (11%)
Museum Events
1 (11%)
Museum – to Children
1 (11%)
Don Cossacks
2 (22%)
Natural Monuments
1 (11%)
Information for Tourists
2 (22%)
Polls archive

Museum Collection

“And Quiet Flows the Don” with the Writer’s Autograph

The fly-leaf of the first volume of the  Italian edition of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” of 1945 bears the words: “To dear Grigoriy Ivanovich Shiltyan from the admirer of his mastery. M. Sholokhov. 2.4.59. Milan”. This book with the writer’s autograph was presented in the summer of 2004 by the museum-workers of the State A.S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.

Who is G.I. Shiltyan and how did he receive Sholokhov’s autograph?

Grigoriy Ivanovich Shiltyan is the famous painter, a native of the Don country. Armenian by nationality, he was born in 1900 in Rostov-on-Don. His father was a notary, his mother originated from the well-known family of Melkonov-Ezekov merchants. He spent his childhood and youth in Rostov. He went to town schools of Stepanov and Zaitsev, there he showed his fondness of drawing.

Initially Grigoriy was taught by the founder of the Rostov painting school A.S. Chinenov, then he took classes from a painter A.K. Avanesov. Having received an elementary art education and possessing fine inborn skills he, at the age of fifteen, entered the artistic life of Rostov. He exposed his works at the biggest exhibitions of the town. His first big success was the picture “A Woman by the Window” painted in 1916. At that time the works of the young painter were given a good reference.

In the years of the Revolution and Civil war Shiltyan left Russia for Italy. There, in 1923, he opened his painting studio. Three years later he set up his first personal exhibition in Bragallia gallery, then two more exhibitions in the Roman and Venetian Biennale. He grew famous. His works were widely exhibited in France, Germany, England, America. The works of Shiltyan were diverse, there were pictures about everyday life, portraits, still lives, various compositions. Generally his pictures showed ordinary people – salesmen of fruit and fish, old-clothes men, conjurers, philatelists, tramps. Grigoriy Ivanovich carefully studied the plots of his future pictures before he began painting them.

The most famous works of the painter are: “Bacchus in the Tavern (1936), “Tramps” (1943), “Two ages” (1957), “A School for Thieves” (1957), “Madonna of Armenia” (1959), “Philatelist” (1977) and others. Grigoriy Ivanovich  lived a very interesting life, visited many countries with his works, met with interesting people. He described his life, impressions, painting career in the autobiographical book “My Adventures”. Grigoriy Ivanovich  Shiltyan deceased in Rome in 1985.

In 2001, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia a collection of works by G.I. Shiltyan was donated to the State A.S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The gift was made by the painter’s wife, Elena Abramovna Shiltyan, according to the painter’s will. The archives comprise 95 museum pieces. Among the exhibits presented there was Sholokhov’s autograph.

In the spring of 1959 Mikhail Aleksandrovich met with Grigoriy Ivanovich Shiltyan in Italy. The writer’s daughter, Svetlana Mikhailovna, was present at the meeting. She recollects: “In Milan we were introduced to A.N. Benua, the head artist of the “La Scala” theatre. He invited us to the studio of a painter Shiltyan. We were amazed by the mastery of this artist. The European art was dominated by primitivism in painting, but Shiltyan, in contrast to this tendency, painted his pictures in an utterly realistic, even naturalistic style. The table talk was animated, it was about art, literature, about the fact that almost everywhere the leading painters, actors, singers originated from Russia. The talk was very interesting for all of us. G. Shiltyan presented the prints of his pictures “A School for Thieves” and “A Still-Life with a Violin” for my brother and me”.

The artistic heritage of Shiltyan is great. He painted 80 big canvases, they are kept in different museums of the world. His pictures can also be found in the native land of the painter, in Rostov-on-Don, mostly in private collections.