Victor Stepanovich Podgoursky ( Russian 1893 – 1969 )
Street scene in Peking
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This street view in Peking was executed in 1938 by Russian painter -emigrant Victor Stepanovich Podgoursky (1893 - 1969) during his 27 -year life in China. He was professor of the Folk China University and College of Fine Arts in Shanghai, the author of exteriors in the most beautiful part of Shanghai, whose paintings was bought in 30-40 years willingly by museums in Italy, France, England. Podgoursky was the author of the first in the whole Asia the monument of Russian poet A.S. Pushkin.
PODGOURSKY VICTOR STEPANOVICH was born in 1893 in the village of Ket Narymsky edge. Grandfather-a Polish nobleman, member of the Polish national liberation uprising in 1863, was sentenced to death, which was replaced by the transportation and a lifetime reference to Siberia. The father was the contractor, his mother a teacher. They raised their four sons, Victor was the eldest of the brothers. He participated in art exhibitions in Vladivostok, worked in the Art Studio by Meshkov.In 1914, Victor entered the Moscow School of painting, sculpture and architecture, and in 1918 he graduated from it. Teachers were Arkhipov and Viktor Vasnetsov. In Moscow he was friendly with K. Matveev, N. Sukhanov. In 1918 he returned to Vladivostok, began work at the head of the Council of Deputies.painted slogans. During the white-Czech coup in the early summer of 1918, he and his brother Eugene barely escaped arrest. Soon they managed to get a visa and in 1920 arrived on a small Chinese ship city Shanghai. Shanghai was the second city after Harbin of the Russian far-eastern colony. A large group of Russian immigrants arrived in Shanghai from Vladivostok in 1922- military cadets, his civilian families. The Russians were in Shanghai, a lot of businesses, large and small shops and workshops,excellent schools, many public organizations. The Russians have served and occupied the major posts in the French, English and other foreign administrative agencies.In the early 20 ´s in Shanghai appears Russian fine art. Almost simultaneously with Podgoursky in Shanghai were Russian artists:Firsov, Shibaev, g. a. Sapozhnikov (Sapažu), a unique artist-cartoonist, Yakov Lihonos, Yaron, Kichigin, l. Pashkov, etc. Podgursky briefly running a political cartoonist in the newspaper "Shanghai living". And soon began his pedagogical activity,that lasted until the departure back home. Professor at Chinese people´s University, Shanghai College of fine arts, Shanghai Art Club. Before long he began to focus on making paintings that reflected the every day life and nature of China. In 1925 the Museum of Genoa purchased four of his oil paintings from the cycle ´Types of Chinese Peasants´. In 1926, in the French town college of Shanghai, he held a personal exhibition of his works, most of which were subsequently sold. He also regularly participated in the exhibitions of Russian expatriate artists living in Shanghai. In the 1930s, Shanghai became the one-of-a-kind centre of Russian artistic emigration. The city witnessed a founding of the Russian Dramatic Theatre and later, in 1936, the Russian Ballet School. The Shanghai Municipal Orchestra and the Opera group were primarily staffed with Russian émigrés.
In 1947, Podgoursky with his wife and 26-year-old son Valery returned to the USSR. The artist was invited to work in the Kazan art school, where he taught prior to 1956, the drawing, painting, composition, Anatomy, was a leading teacher of decorative branches and sculptures.Shortly after his return to the USSR his son Vitaly was arrested. Not out of sorrow, the wife died. These were not the first bitter losses of the artist.Brother Eugene, lawyer, musician, friend of the famous far eastern poet K. Stalwart, shot himself in Vorošilove (Ussuriysk), younger brother of Constantine, Commander of Red guards, tortured by white-chech army, the sister Sonja died in Moscow, performing the task of Komsomol for collectivization.Viktor Stepanovich died in Tashkent in the year 1969 without any recognition in Vladivostok.
Full biographical article about the artist in Russian see under following link:
Provenance: family of a German diplomat. Property of a private European collection from 1930. Another two paintings from his China period (from the same provenance) can be find: on our web-site under item no. 3991 and by another one, " Chinese tea break" by Russian sales of Bonhams London (sold for 12500 pounds on 26.11.2014.
Literature: in Russian: O.Leykind, K.Mahrov, D.Severjuhin " Hudozniki russkogo Zarubezja", Biographical lexikon. Part II, Notabene Edition. St.Petersburg, 1999; " Istorija russkogo iskusstva", Moscow, Art Academy editon, 1963-1964.; in on-line: Bonhams biography (Russian sale cataloque ); Russian biography of The Vladivostok Arsenjev Museum.
Inscription: signed and dated 1938 lower right.
Technique: oil on canvas. Original period frame.
Measurements: unframed w 32 7/8 " x h 25 2/3 " (83,5 cm x 65 cm ), framed w 38 3/4 " x h 31 1/2" ( 98,5 x 80 cm).
Condition: in very good condition.