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Isaevich Nathan Altman

Born in the province and who lost his father early, N. Altman achieved everything on their own, and the talent.
 He studied at the Odessa Art School (1902-07), but left it, not satisfied with the teaching and returned to Vinnitsa, where he began to work independently .

 In late 1910, he was able to go to Paris and stayed there for just eleven months, but the impressions he received was enough to complete the professional development and to determine the way to art. Phenomenal natural sensitivity allowed Altman pick up quickly and seamlessly absorb current artistic ideas of his time, but rarely found innate professionalism - immediately to put these ideas into artistic and impeccably elegant, easily comprehensible way, no matter what the field of creativity he nor addressed.

 At the end of 1912, the young artist moved to St. Petersburg, where, originally using techniques recently originated in France Cubism, in a short time has become one of the most prominent painters. The famous "Portrait of the poet Anna Akhmatova" (1914) consolidated his reputation. Equally successful were his experiments in sculpture ("Self-Portrait", 1916), graph (a cycle "Jewish plot" based on the tombstone reliefs, 1914) and set design (the play "The Miracle of St. Anthony" by M. Maeterlinck in Petrograd literary and artistic club cafe "Halt comedians," 1916).

 After the October Revolution Altman, as most of the artists of the "left" direction, developed a tireless social work and worked very productively: executed a series of sculptural works, studied industrial graphics (sketches stamps), who gained fame created a festive decoration project area Urickogo (Palace) in Petrograd to November 7, 1918, made a series of expressive portrait sketches of Lenin, published at the same time the album and became popular.

 Techniques studied carefully and skillfully applied Suprematism he used in a series of non-objective painting, "Petrograd Commune", "Material Selection", "Russia. Trud", etc. (1919-21). But in later years he concentrated his efforts on the chart - Easel (a series of portraits of contemporary writers, 1926-27) and the book, which quickly was able to develop his own sharp, memorable style.

 Especially fruitful was his work in the theater. Working with the outstanding director of the Vakhtangov historical play by An-sky "Gadibuk" (theater-studio "Habima", 1921) and then working with GOSET ("Uriel Acosta" Gutskova K., 1922, "The Marriage Truadeka" the play by Jean Romain, 1927, and others) established his reputation as a great theater artist.

In the spring of 1928 Altman went to the theater on tour in Europe, and after the end of the tour was in France. Familiarization with the processes taking place in the contemporary French art, prompting him to return to painting. The artist painted a large number of landscapes and still lifes in which he subtly and originally revived the tradition of Impressionism. In this case, Altman was still a jack of all trades: Excellent designed several children's books, produced a very interesting illustrations of the "St. Petersburg Stories" by Nikolai Gogol (1933-34, published in 1937) and a series of lithographs on the theme of the Old Testament, and also engaged in design and interior design.

 Returning home in 1935, Altman was in difficult political situation and the ideological pressure of the unfolding terror. His paintings are so did not meet the criteria of the implemented socialist realism, that he was forced to leave her at all, and only deal with set design and book design, where certain features of work in some way avoids the ideological fault-finding and be less noticeable. Among his creations of the time allocated to the scenery of the famous Shakespearean plays staged by Leningrad theaters (GBDT - "King Lear", 1941; Drama Theatre. A Pushkin - "Othello", 1944, "Hamlet", 1954), costumes for film "Don Quixote" (1955), the illustrations for the works of Sholem Aleichem, V. Blasco Ibáñez, E. Castro, Zola, etc.
 In the last years of his life Altman easel paintings created several compositions based on previous theatrical sketches.

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