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Glazunov Gallery

Moscow, Russia

Ilya Glazunov, contemporary Russian artist from Saint Petersburg, born in 1930.

Ilya Glazunov is a founder of the Russian high realism artistic school, deeply influenced by Eastern Orthodoxy and iconography and a head of Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

Ilya Glazunov’s paintings have mostly historic or religious themes. Famous works include Russia the Eternal, The 20th Century Mystery, The Ruination of the Temple on the Easter Night and illustrations to the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Ilya Glazunov was one of the main advocates behind the restoration of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Moscow).

In his recent years soviet statesman Mikhail Suslov formed a close relationship with Glazunov. After a long time spent out of favour, Glazunov was given permission for a massive solo exhibition in the Manège.  In the 1980s Ilya Glazunov was associated with far-right Pamyat society and became known for his patriotic views. Awarded "For Service to the Motherland" decoration by the President Vladimir Putin.
- Internet (April 2011)
The Ilya Glazunov Picture Gallery (Kartinnaya galereya Ilyi Glazunova) showcases the work of Russia's most popular living artist.

A child of the Soviet system (orphaned during the siege of Leningrad), Glazunov was taught by Boris Ioaganson, the head of the Artists Union, and looked set for success until his fascination for Orthodox and Tsarist culture led to him being "exiled" to Kazan in the 1970s.

His status as a dissident was enhanced by tales of a gigantic canvas, The Mystery of the Twentieth Century – featuring Hitler, Stalin, Nicholas II, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky and a host of other historical and cultural figures – and of how senior apparatchiki secretly collected his works.

By 1980 retro-patriotism was celebrated: Glazunov was awarded the title of Peoples' Artist; UNESCO chose his painting The Contribution of the Soviet Peoples to World Culture and Civilization for its permanent art collection, and later gave him their Picasso Gold Medal.

His view of the Yeltsin era is embodied by another huge painting, The Market of Our Democracy, which shows Yeltsin waving a conductor's baton as two lesbians kiss and the oligarch Berezovsky flaunts a sign reading "I will buy Russia", while charlatans rob a crowd of refugees and starving children. Subtle it's not – but his 2002 exhibition at the Manège drew over two million visitors in a month, so his art clearly resonates with many even if Moscow's intelligentsia shudder with distaste.
- Moscow Guide (April 2011)



Ilys Glazunov donated over 700 of his paintings and graphic works to be the core of the collection's galleries.

A Cabin in Siberia is Better than a Villa in Miami

The Desecration of the Church at Easter. 1999


Eternal Russia (Bechnaya Rossiya)

Large painting left center: Eternal Russia (Bechnaya Rossiya)
Details below:

Mother of God  icon

Center figure on horse: St. George.

Photos and their arrangement © 2010 Chuck LaChiusa
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