This is a note on a family of artists, the Osipov-Fyodorovs. The first of the Osipovs, Alexander, lived from 1892 to 1981. The latest of them, Daniil Fyodorov, was born in 1979. In between are three others – Tamara Osipova (1924-1989), Vladislav Fyodorov (1924-1993) and Maria Fyodorova (1952-). Between them, they range across the fine arts – painting, sketches, theatre design, the illustration of books, graphic design, and so on. I’m none too impressed with Daniil, so I won’t bother with his work, but his predecessors are certainly worth a look.
Alexander Osipov was born in the Tver region, and initially studied iconography at St Petersburg. He then moved on to the School of the Society for the Encouragements of the Arts where he received a fine grounding in drawing and painting under Nikolai Roerich and Arkady Rylov. In 1915, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, where at the time such luminaries as Makovsky and Zaleman were instructors. His works in the 1920s are considered masterly, laconic, sharp and polished, as evidenced by his exhibitions in 1926-1928. In the 1930s, he excelled in portraiture – that of M. S. Osipova (1935) considered a prime exemplar.
In 1939, besides his teaching activities at the Moscow Union of Artists, he also became an artist-correspondent with the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. In the 1950s, he was heavily engaged in painting the great cycle of ‘Moscow under construction’. He spent as much time gathering material for it (etudes of the Moscow streets) as well as painting it. The following decade found him travelling extensively (Moldova, Ukraine, Crimea, the Caucasus, the Baltic Republics). His extensive study of the fishermen’s lives in the Baltics were noteworthy, among which were ‘Fishermen’, ‘Klaipeda’, ‘Shipyard’, which result in his participation in the 1961 All-Soviet exhibition of maritime art. In Moldova he painted ‘Apple-picking’.
You can find his paintings in State Historical museum, the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow State University, as well as various private collections in Russia and abroad.
Tamara Osipova was born in Moscow, the daughter of Alexander. In 1939, she joined the Moscow Central Art School, and was evacuated to Bashkyria during the war, where she continued her artistic training. Returning to the capital in 1944, she worked under Mochalskiy, Favorskaya, Chekmazov and Kostin. She spent some time in the Crimea, and began her career as a maritime artist, painting the Black, Azov and Baltic seas.
In the 1950s and 1960s, she concentrated on the theme of figure skating, switching to the ballet in the latter years. On the basis of live sketches (pace Serebriakova!) in the rehearsal halls and performances of the Bolshoi Theatre, she created paintings dedicated to the art of Ulanova, Maksimova, Vasilyeva, Bessmertnaya, Plistetskaya, Radchenko and others.
Among her major works are ‘In a spare moment’ (1954), ‘Yalta port’ (1956), ‘Morning’ (1958), ‘Spring’ (1958), ‘Behind the scenes with Ulanova and Maksimova in rehearsal’ (1967), ‘Portrait of a ballerina’ (1967), ‘Galina Ulanova in rehearsal’ (1969), ‘Success’ (1969), ‘The Nutcracker’ (1970), and her series of graphic works on the theme of figure skating.
Her works are preserved in the archives of the Museum of the Bolshoi Theatre and other national museums, as well as private collections around the world. She was a beautiful, charming woman, retaining spontaneity and joie de vivre to the end of her life. These emotions suffused her work.
Vladislav Fyodorov was Tamara Osipova’s husband, and a fine artist in his own right. justify was born in Tula and loved drawing since an early age. In 1939, he was admitted to the first Moscow art school, where he was considered one of the best students of V. V. Potchitalov. Scarcely two years later, he was exhibiting his still lifes at the school’s exhibition on the Kuznetsk bridge.
Between 1942 and 1943, he fought on the western front. Returning to his school, he was evacuated to Bashkyria. At the end of the war, he joined the studio of S. V. Gerasimov, and under his tutelage produced ‘The Firstborn’ for his diploma. This was to be one of Fyodorov’s favoured themes – motherhood.
He was also fascinated with the sea, and several of his landscapes and paintings on the theme were displayed at marine exhibitions. Fyodorov also travelled extensively – Ukraine, the Far East, Crimea, Trans-Caucasus, Valaam and Moscow. His most beloved destination was the village of Protasovo in the Tula region to which he returned regularly and worked for the last dozen years of his life.
He was a member of the Moscow Union of Artists since 1956, participating in all major exhibitions of the time. Among his better known works are ‘The Firstborn’ (1950), ‘Boats’ (1956), ‘Azov Sea’ (1958), ‘Autumn sun’ (1959), ‘Portrait of the painter Kostin’ (1959), ‘Over the river. Evening’ (1961), ‘Entry into the village’ (1976), ‘Heifer’ (1977), ‘Self-portrait’ (1970s), ‘Return to the herd’ (1970s), ‘Peaceful sky’ (1984), ‘At the mirror’ (1985) and ‘In the garden’ (1993).
His works are to be found at the Tretyakov gallery and other museums around the country, as well as private collections around the world.
Maria Fyodorova is the daughter of V. Fyodorov and T. Osipova. Her oeuvre is mainly theatre and costume design. She was born in 1952, and obtained a degree in applied arts from the Moscow Institute of Textile Design. Her characteristic feature is the absorption of all that she learned from her teachers, seamlessly combining a subtle sense of form and colour, knowledge of the properties of materials, an ability to construct technical models, and a deeply contemporary outlook.
From 1974 to 1982, she worked at the All-Soviet House of Fashion, setting fashion trends and patterns for the industry. From 1972, she participated in various exhibitions around and outside the country in which she displayed her thorough understanding of traditional Russian art, creatively reinterpreting rather than slavishly imitating their fundamental principles.
In the theatre, she was responsible for the costumes for the Stanislavsky Dramatic Theatre production of Merezhko’s plays, as well as the Bolshoi Theatre’s ballet production ‘Demon’.
She is also well-known for her series of graphic works which are to be found in the Museum of the Bolshoi Theatre, the Glinka Museum of Musical Culture, as well as private collections in Russia and abroad.
The Osipov-Fyodorov Dynasty web page.