Color Master
Ivan Godlevsky
Ivan Ivanovitch Godlevsky
(1908 - 1998)
For one - the creative work is a torture
For another - it is the meaning of life and opportunity to get real happiness.
From the diary of Godlevsky
Ivan Ivanovitch Godlevsky was born in Dobromeritchi in 1908. In 1914 his father went to the front of I world war and his mother have died from epidemic of cholera. At the age of 6 Ivan with his younger brother Akim are being placed to children shelter with was located in aristocratic house of countess Veniaminova. She has opened this shelter at the end of XIX century. Aristocratic upbringing which came to him from his early childhood have been resting with him for the rest of his life. Ivan has learned to draw before he has learned to write and it became his calling. After revolution of 1917, the shelter was closed in 1918 and all of the children were transferred to soviet children orphanage of town Poltava. Ivan was always carrying pencil and paper with him to draw and than he was given as the gift easel and the oil paints. He was noticed for his art passion
And he was sent to study to Mirgorod Artistic Industrial School of N.V. Gogol.(It was created in 1896). The time of creation of this school happily coincided with the period of heightened interest
In society and among artists to ceramics as the most democratic publicly available material for the embodiment of their ideas. Godlevsky was very lucky to get to this school, it turned out the best school in a world for ceramics creation.
Interior of Saint-Trotck Monastery in Buenos Aires created the Mirrorod School
Interior of Saint-Trotck Monastery in Buenos Aires created the Mirrorod School
International Art Exhibition of Cermic Arts in Saint Petersburg
Decision to award a gold medal to Mirrored Ceramic School.
In 1926 Godlevsy has graduated with golden medal from Mirrored Ceramic school. (Seating on honorable place next to professor)
Than Godlevsky has entered Kiev Academy of Art were was working Fiodor Kritchevky - the founder of the Academy.

Fiodor Kritchesky - first professor of Ivan Godlevsky.
Fiodor Kritchesky has received his professional education шт Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture(1806 1901). Here, according to the artist himself, Abram Arkhipov and Valentin Serov had the greatest influence on him. He decided to continue his artistic education in St. Petersburg, at the Higher Art School at the Imperial Academy of Arts and in 1907 he entered the class of the battle-painter F. Roubaud. After the Academy he was sent abroad as a pensioner. Studied in Vienna with Gustav Klimt. In 1918-1922 he taught at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, was its first rector. Fyodor Krichevsky received an excellent education and had an amazing talent for seeing colors.
Godlevsky was a favorite student of Fyodor Krichevsky and was able to perceive the correct attitude to color in painting that the master possessed.
Fyodor Krichevsky, GirlsFyodor
Krichevsky, Love, 1927
Fyodor Krichevsky, Mother, 1929
Vasily Grigorievich Krichevsky - 2nd professor I.I. Godlevsky at the Kiev Academy.
Also, the brother of Fyodor Krichevsky Vasily taught at the Kiev Academy of Arts in the 20s, when Ivan Ivanovich studied there. ... Vasily Grigorievich immediately noticed the original talent of Ivan Ivanovich and they became very friendly. Godlevsky was lucky to learn from this magnificent master of painting. Vasily Grigorievich Krichevsky had a rare talent for seeing colors. His works are extremely beautiful and he was able to pass on his talent to his most talented student Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky.
Vasily Krichevsky, Sea of Azov
Vasily Krichevsky, Monastery
Vasily Krichevsky, Crimean landscape
After the Kiev Academy Godlevsky in 1931. was drafted into the army. I had to serve in the army until 1935, since at the insistence of the then authorities I had to remain a "volunteer" for another two years. In 1936, after the army, Ivan Godlevsky decided to enter the best higher educational institution of the country for painting - the Leningrad Art Academy. Repin. He was accepted only for the quality of his paintings without exams, which did not happen often.

Professor Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin
Alexander Alexandrovich was a student of one of the best artists in the world and an enlightened person, Nicholas Roerich. In 1913. he entered the studio of the greatest master of painting, Ilya Ivanovich Mashkov. In 1914 Alexander was admitted to the "Jack of Diamonds" Society of Artists. The society included Konchalovsky, Mashkov, Larionov, Lentulov and Goncharova. Like other masters of this association, he sympathizes with the work of the French painter Paul Cézanne. Styles such as Cubism and Fauvism, which also came from France, are not alien to him. This is clearly seen in the early works of the artist.
A.A. Osmerkin, Portrait
A.A. Osmerkin, City landscape, 1917
A.A. Osmerkin, In a cafe, 1919
In the above works of Osmerkin, one can clearly see the great talent of the artist and an excellent understanding of color. He was the youngest artist of the Jack of Diamonds and one of the most talented. The works of Goncharova and Larionov are now worth millions and this is only because the artists came to Paris and their works had access to the painting market. Of course, the same would have happened with the works of Osmerkin, but by the will of fate he remained to live in the USSR. Having experienced all the hardships of the revolutionary and war years, the artist remains devoted to art until the end of his days. Deineka wrote about him;

He passed among us Don Quixote in art, many things seemed to him better than they actually were, he looked at many things with sublime delight. "But not only painting conquered his heart then. The feeling of art, as he later called himself, the ability to penetrate into the world of the sublime, the beautiful, was brought up in him and literature.He knew Russian poetry perfectly - the works of Baratynsky, Tyutchev, Fet, but nevertheless A.S. Pushkin remained an idol and god for him.Everyone who knew Osmerkin was surprised his brilliant knowledge, feeling and reading of the poet's immortal creations,to which he dedicated a series of paintings painted in 1928 in the Mikhailovsky, Trigorsky, Pushkin mountains. The best achievements of French painting of the late 19th and early 20th centuries undoubtedly influenced Russian artists. Osmerkin said: "The Shchukin and Morozov galleries are my academy. I have done all the way of analytical research in painting. There were both impressionism and cubism …"

The talent for teaching woke up in the artist quite early. Since 1918 he taught at 1 and 2 Free State Workshops, then at Vkhutemas - Vhutein. In 1932. at the invitation of AT Matveev, who headed the All-Russian Academy of Arts, Osmerkin moved to Leningrad .. At that time, Osmerkin was in charge of the painting department, which, according to his students, was the most interesting in the Academy. In his article "On the Education of Artists" Osmerkin wrote: "The upbringing of a young artist is, first of all, the upbringing of artistic culture in him, and one must begin with this upbringing. Mind and feeling must guide by the hand of the artist, only in this way does the craft necessary for the master not turn into needlework. One craft taken without visual imagination leads to the passivity of artistic thinking. Without visual imagination, it is impossible to organize a picture as a whole, to achieve in it the correct subordination of details. In teaching, I strive to develop students' sense of color as the fundamental principle of painting. At first I instill in them a love of material, a love of paints: ultramarine, emerald, ocher, cadmium, ivory, etc. " Being a deeply educated person and considering his main the vital task of the development of art, until the end of his life, he remained faithful to his ideals and managed to pass on to his students his knowledge and faith in fine art, which he considered impressionism.

Osmerkin has always been reprimanded for his worship of Western painting. Both externally and internally, he was a man of the old world, a man of imperial Russia. He came to his lectures at the Academy in a fox fur coat, in an impeccable suit and always talked about art from the point of view of beauty, but in no case from the side of the establishment of Soviet power and the approval of socialist realism. A it wasn't easy at the time. In 1947. At a party meeting, Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin was asked to renounce the French impressionists and no longer recognize their painting, to which the professor replied that those who do not recognize Cezanne's painting are complete fools and left the meeting, slamming the door. After that, he was released from teaching at the Repin Academy in Leningrad and at the Surikov Institute in Moscow. He had to live on a small pension. In 1953. The master is gone.

Osmyorkin, In the courtyard of the Hermitage, 1945
Osmyorkin, Sergiev Posad, 1947
Osmyorkin, Malaya Holland, 1945
The great master wrote the above works in the 40s. They are beautiful in color and composition and correspond to all the canons of classical education.

The monograph about the artist was published by the publishing house Soviet Artist only in 1981. Godlevsky was asked to write about his favorite teacher and included the article below in his book "Osmerkin. Reflections on Art." Soviet Artist. Moscow 1981

Godlevsky's article on Osmerkin
"The war ended and we met again. In 1948 I found Alexander Alexandrovich rejuvenated, cheerful, full of plans and hopes for the future, although his everyday life became more difficult - he was removed from teaching at the institutes of Leningrad and Moscow. my duty to support Alexander Alexandrovich and wrote him a letter full confidence that justice will certainly prevail and history will put everything in its true place. He gave examples from the relatively recent past of world art.

Soon I received a letter from Moscow, where Alexander Alexandrovich thanked me with great warmth, but wrote that he did not is such a significant figure about which historical parallels can be allowed. But I turned out to be right - history has already said its word and today the name of Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin is among the brilliant masters of painting in Soviet art. However, this historical word was spoken much later than the described time.

Each visit is remembered by endless conversations: it seemed that they embraced the art of the whole world, all continents - they had no end, and whether it was a conversation about the miracle of the frescoes of Pompeii or about the Russian icon, about Negro art or Persian miniature, about our contemporaries - Matisse or Picasso - Alexander Alexandrovich was a treasure trove of inexhaustible information and amazed with the depth of knowledge, which he expressed not as it should be to the "meter" - maxims, but with the simplicity inherent only in truly big people, sometimes exploding with an unexpected joke, a slight sarcastic remark and always not a banality of judgment.

Then at the end of the 40s, when I came to Moscow, I always stayed with my teacher. His workshop was in a large communal apartment on Kirov Street in the center. There he worked and lived. The shelves of the huge library occupied almost an entire wall of the workshop, there was a harsh ottoman with a dark carpet hanging over it, and Pushkin's masks at the end of the nearest shelf. In the working space there was an easel and a podium for the model, the guests were laid to sleep on it, if it was empty, and if he was busy with a still life, then the guest naturally sat on the floor. On the high plastered walls there are paintings by the artist. Pictures and on shelves.
A.A. Osmerkin Portrait of a Young Woman xmm 1914
1914 Osmerkin Wooden bridge, Leningrad 1946
xm 102 x 120
A.A. Osmerkin Forget-me-nots
HM. 81 x 60.1953

On one of my visits, I got two passes to the Museum of Fine Arts to inspect the paintings of the Dresden Gallery, then not yet open for public viewing. There are no words to describe Osmerkin's joy. Tired and happy we returned home from the museum. All evening in the memories of what he saw. The table is littered with books with reproductions. Again and again thoughts and feelings in the halls of the museum. Black reproductions came to life and flourished with paintings that were seen during the day. They fell asleep as if they had been killed. In the morning, Alexander Alexandrovich said: "And today we will go to the committee for arts affairs together and again take a pass." Let's go. There, after a little hitch, we received admission tickets to view the gallery. In the evening, completely without legs from the day spent in the museum, everyone recalled an employee in the Committee with surprise asked Alexander Alexandrovich: "But you went yesterday, why do you still need today?" "No, just think, Osmerkin laughed," why, huh? Why?" - and burst into cheerful laughter.

During my visits to Moscow, we often visited his friends and fellow artists. The artist Udaltsova lived diagonally from his house, in the courtyard of the former Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (later Vkhutemas). I have long dreamed of visiting her. She received us very warmly and cordially. She showed many of her works, which aroused my genuine delight, and Nadezhda Andreevna also introduced me to several canvases of her late husband, the artist Drevin. They were a complete surprise to me and struck me with exquisite color and special musicality.

When we were returning back, Osmerkin suddenly stopped and, apparently continuing to think about what he had seen, he said: "Nadia knows how to make a mess in painting! Truth?". In the same year, Alexander Alexandrovich painted a portrait of Nadezhda Andreevna Udaltsova, which is now in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.

The Leningrad "Osmerkin's workshop" always pops up in my memory with the radiance of sparkling colors. How many students dreamed of getting into it ... Osmerkin told us: "My friends, guys ...", and referring directly to the student, he called him a diminutive, affectionate name. And it was not sentimental or adaptive, but surprisingly soulful. He stood out among other professors and teachers of the Academy for his appearance, he always appeared with great taste, dressed, tucked up, shaven, often with a live flower in his buttonhole. He, as it were, opposed himself to the servicemen from art, although he never spoke about it. Him there was an amazing gentleness in his address, we did not hear him speak badly about anyone or malice. He pronounced the names of some of the professors with gentle humor, and then one could understand that he was far from fascinated by them.

New performances in Osmerkin's workshop were an event throughout the institute. The very process of staging captured all of us. Model selection. Selection of props. Alexander Alexandrovich gave a general idea and attracted everyone to participate in the production. "Oh, great! Let's leave it like that! «

It was amazing how the teacher and his students created in the atmosphere of a workshop from everyday objects - a world that awakened in us the enthusiasm of pioneers in art or the successors of traditions. In both cases, we ascended into the world of art, into the world of high and pure ideas about the art of painting. This left in me forever a feeling of living gratitude to the artist - educator. Now, many years later, looking at the picturesque jewels of Osmerkin's canvases, I understand what a brilliant artist and what a wonderful teacher my teacher was. «

Godlevsky remained forever friendly with the Osmerkin family, and as soon as the long-awaited book about Osmerkin was published, he received it as a gift.
Gift signature
Formation of the artist I.I. Godlevsky
By the will of fate, Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky received an impeccable education in art. MHPSH finished with a gold medal, professors Fedor Grigorievich and Vasily Grigorievich Krichevsky and finally professor Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin.

Undoubtedly, the most important milestone in the artistic development of Godlevsky was training in the individual workshop of the professor of the Academy Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin. Of course, their long-standing friendship also helped. Osmerkin, a gifted painter and an excellent teacher, immediately considered the talent of the young student. From the first days of training and friendship that began Godlevsky eagerly absorbed and shared the worldview of the great Master. The professor demanded a serious mastering of the subjects of painting, composition and drawing. He encouraged his students to work in the open air, to master the traditions of famous masters presented in the Hermitage and in the Russian Museum.

In these museums, the young Godlevsky spent days and hours studying the world's masterpieces of painting. Godlevsky said that his teacher sent his students to the Hermitage to study painting in front of the canvases of the Impressionists. On these frequent trips to the Hermitage, looking at masterpieces of the French impressionists Godlevsky, listening and imitating his professor, formed his own taste and manner of painting, which he followed and did not betray until the end of his life.
I.I. Godlevsky, 1934
Military service

With wife Maria, 1945
In 1941 Godlevsky went to the front after the fifth year of the Academy from Osmerkin's workshop. Instead of working on his diploma, he was mobilized to the Western Front as a battalion commander. Like all our fathers and grandfathers, he defended our Motherland. During the crossing of the Dniester, Ivan Ivanovich was wounded. He drowned, then lay in the hospital for a long time. In 1944. he accomplished a feat that was described in the front-line newspapers. Together with a group of 17 soldiers, he captured 437 enemy soldiers and officers for which he was awarded the order. In the first years of the war, there was no time for painting at the front. But when the war began to approach a victorious end and all the front-line soldiers began to think about choosing a peaceful profession, imaginary pictures began to form in Godlevsky's head, like poetry is formed in the head of a poet. He decided to try again his hand at the field of his favorite business - painting. After demobilization, he ended up in Leningrad only in 1948 to write a diploma. He wrote his diploma in a monumental workshop to avoid Professor Mikhail Ivanovich Avilov, winner of the Stalin Prize and an ardent admirer of socialist realism. Unfortunately, the plot of the diploma is artists in They did not choose the time, they were given the task of what to write. Even Godlevsky, who later embarked on his own individual, uncontrolled path in painting had to maneuver.

The diploma work "Nikita Khrushchev among the Hutsuls", of course, was made clearly in the spirit of socialist realism, the only genre required then from the artists of the USSR. It is also worth noting from the writing and impeccable composition that the artist received a higher classical education, which was becoming less and less in the world of fine arts. After defending his diploma, Godlevsky begins teaching at the Institute of Baron Stieglitz or in Mukhinka, as it is still called among artists, He was also elected chairman of the painting section of the Leningrad Union of Artists. In 1953. the artist gets a workshop on the street. Saltykov-Shchedrin 34 - the former workshop of Vereshchagin. He shared it with other artists. Party member, war hero, professor at a prestigious art university and head of the painting section, Godlevsky could have made a brilliant career in the Soviet However, remembering his beloved professor Osmerkin, he was exceptionally honest in his dealings with art and never betrayed his artistic principles. Godlevsky worked not for recognition, but for art. He wrote in his diary "Creativity is the path to absolute happiness and the only meaning of life.»
I.I. Godlevsky Khrushchev's visit to the peasants Hutsuls
hmm 25 x 58.1949. Study for the diploma work

The life of I.I. Godlevsky and V, D. Lyubimova - the main admirer of his talent.
The first marriage of Ivan Ivanovich falls apart. In 1956. Godlevsky fulfills the important state order "Lenin in October", receives a large sum of money for it, gives up teaching at Mukhinka and leaves for Armenia for 8 months. He returned from Armenia at the beginning of 1957. with freshly written works, happy and enthusiastic to create. Then he leaves for a creative business trip to the ancient city of Pskov and returns to Leningrad only at the end of October, bringing with him new works created in the Pskov region.
I.I. Godlevsky, 1950
Vera, future artist's wife, 1950
The wife of his friend, artist Grigory Malysh, invites guests to Godlevsky's studio to view his works. Among them was his future wife Vera Dmitrievna Lyubimova. She subsequently wrote about this visit to Godlewski's atelier:

"In Ivan Ivanovich's studio there were 18 works on the table, on chairs, on the floor. These were landscapes of central Russia. I was shocked. There was so much purity, harmony in colors, a feeling of goodness and joy that I wanted to look and see. Then I have already remembered each work forever.But my first glance fell on a painting depicting a creamy pink bell tower on the bank of the river with several trees, emerald grass, a gentle blue evening sky, and although the sun was not visible, it seemed that it sparkled in every leaf and blade of grass."Oh," I screamed,"it's after the rain," that's how this picture got the name"After the Rain". and for a very long time my husband and I did not part with this picture."
I.I. Godlevsky Festival of Life, Isakievskaya Square
hmm 117 x 200 1954

In 1957 Vera married Ivan Ivanovich. First, she fell in love with his work and then with the artist. Ivan Ivanovich was 49 years old, he was a mature person and an established artist. He stopped taking orders from the Union of Artists and spent all his time painting pictures. The most devoted admirer of Godlevsky's work was his wife. They discussed his paintings, went to museums together and Vera Dmitrievna fell so in love with his painting that she helped him in everything she could. Vera Dmitrievna completely took care of household chores so that Ivan Ivanovich could create freely. Vera Dmitrievna was born in 1920. and participated in defense of Leningrad during the Patriotic War. She was a nurse during the siege of Leningrad. After the war she worked in Smolny, and then became an assistant professor at the 1st Medical Institute in Leningrad. Thanks to the connections of Vera Dmitrievna, they received a magnificent workshop with a separate apartment on the 7th floor of building 83 along the Griboyedov Canal. Sometimes in the evenings they went out onto the roof from which St. Isaac's Cathedral shone in all its glory. From the window of the workshop's round rotunda, one could see the blue domes with gold stars on the Trinity - Izmailovsky Cathedral. Excellent conditions were created for artists in the USSR. All over the country there were houses from the Union of Artists. Any artist could come and live in this house, where there was always an inexpensive dining room and comfortable rooms and everything for creativity. Every year Godlevsky went on creative business trips in various directions of our vast country. He especially loved to visit the south of Russia and often visited the Crimea.

Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin, a famous Russian artist, in 1910 built a dacha for himself in Gurzuf and called it "Salambo", in honor of his beloved ballet for which he made costumes and sets. At this dacha, Korovin received Surikov and Andreev, Gorky and Kuprin. Very often his friend Chaliapin visited him. The famous portrait of Chaliapin was also painted here.

In 1947, the house of the Union of Artists was opened at this dacha. Ivan Ivanovich was very fond of this place steeped in history.

Salammbo was built in a very picturesque bay with great views. This gave Godlewski endless plots for his pictures. After all, there was everything that the artist loved, the hot southern sun, the colorful sea and beautiful views. He lived in Gurzuf from 3 to 6 months a year, where he created his wonderful Crimean landscapes

I.I. Godlevsky Blooming almonds. Crimea
hmm 70 x 93
I.I. Godlevsky On the terrace. Crimea
hmm 60 x 80

The first official exhibition in Leningrad
The first official exhibition of Godlevsky was held in the Union of Artists of Leningrad in 1961. The Leningrad Union of Artists was located in the building of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of Arts. It was done on an imperial scale. From 1906 to 1917 Nicholas Roerich taught at the Drawing School of the society. It was with Nicholas Roerich that the beloved professor of Godlevsky Alexander Osmerkin studied. And now the works of Ivan Ivanovich were presented in the exhibition halls of the Union of Artists of Leningrad. Godlevsky hung 89 works in the exhibition halls. Of course, his work was very different from the paintings previously exhibited here. After all, basically the artists followed the style set by the party - the style of socialist realism. Godlevsky followed his well-established style, the style of development of Russian impressionism. He continued the work of his great professor Osmerkin, wrote only what he loved and the result was magnificent.

The opening speech at the opening of the exhibition was read by his faithful admirer and wife Vera Dmitrievna Lyubimova.
To get to the exhibition, you had to wait in line for 2-3 hours. The exhibition halls were located on the 2nd floor of a beautiful building with wide and gentle staircases, and the line began on the street.

The exhibition was a huge success. This was a turning point in the artist's life. He was already 53 years old and had an excellent education in art, which he constantly replenished and developed. By this time, Godlevsky had created his own bright, easily recognizable and individual style in painting. The recognition of the public made it clear to him that he was on the right path to creating a real painting. But every artist strives for this and many never find themselves.

The newspapers, of course, scolded the artist for being "French", but still the Art Council decided to send the exhibition to 12 cities of the USSR and also show it in different halls of Leningrad. Indeed, for two years, Godlevsky's exhibition was held at the Writers' Union, the House of Scientists, the Electromechanical Institute, the House of Culture of Industrial Cooperation and the Kirov Plant. Also, according to the decision of the Art Council, the exhibition was held in Lviv and the paintings were transported for the exhibition to Simferopol.
The recognition of the public is very important for any artist. The enthusiastic reviews of his paintings in the book of exhibition visits, a large number of people striving to see his paintings, the decision of the Art Council to take the exhibition to 12 cities gave the artist great confidence in his own talent. But in order to achieve a result, you need to create a picture with great love and confidence. One of the artists, members of the Leningrad Union of Artists, Yuri Aleksandrovich Mezhirov, told me a curious story about Ivan Ivanovich. They rested and worked together in Gurzuf, in the creative house of artists (Salammbo) and Godlewski, while showing their work to other artists, said "Look, I am writing masterpieces." It is noteworthy that he never chased any isms, did not try to create a new style in painting, but simply created positive and cheerful works with which one wants to live.

During the exhibition at the Union of Artists in Leningrad, the American Symphony Orchestra toured. The musicians, being creative people, visited Godlevsky's exhibition, tracked down the artist and visited his studio. It was impossible to sell works at that time, and Ivan Ivanovich presented them with 6 of his paintings. In gratitude, the musicians for many years sent him art books and albums with wonderful illustrations of which it was impossible to buy in the USSR at that time.
I.I. Godlevsky Night pier
hmm 70 x 93

I.I.Godlevsky Sunrise over the Neva
HM. 70 x 93

In the above works, the artist's favorite subjects are Crimea and Leningrad.

Ivan Ivanovich worked fruitfully, creating his unique collection. He took an active part in the meetings of the Union of Artists, went on creative business trips and always did his favorite thing - art. But in the 60s and 70s, there was almost no art market in the country, paintings were only sometimes bought by rare collectors. But this was not reflected in the work of Godlewski. He worked for art. He created his beautiful paintings and put them on the shelves in his spacious atelier. He made friends and discussed art with young artists. in the 60s, Mikhail Shemyakin often visited him. He took to read and watch books that came to Godlevsky from America. The second exhibition in the Union of Artists was held only in 1978. Although many people visited it and wrote excellent reviews, the exhibition was held with less excitement, the political situation in the country was changing.

Godlevsky was absolutely aloof from politics, he was engaged in art, continuing to travel on creative business trips and creating his own beautiful paintings. Ivan Ivanovich can be compared with his favorite artist Van Gogh. He, like Van Gogh, is never anything wrote to sell. Therefore, his paintings were always fresh and original.

Exhibition of I.I. Godlevsky in Paris.
Since 1991 I have been organizing exhibitions of Russian art in Paris. I began to travel to Leningrad to get acquainted with the work of local artists. I visited the ateliers of various members of the Union of Artists of Leningrad. So I ended up in Godlevsky's atelier and met the artist. At that time Ivan Ivanovich was 82 years old. I began to look through the paintings. They were everywhere, hung on the walls of the atelier, stood on shelves, lay in piles on the floor, removed from stretchers. Looking through the works, I immediately realized that in front of me a brilliant artist whom I have never met before. I asked him "Ivan Ivanovich, why are all your works here, why are they not in museums, not at exhibitions, not with collectors after all?" "Nobody needs them," the artist answered me, "I need them," I exclaimed, "Will you come to me in Paris?" Under such circumstances, our acquaintance took place. We talked for a long time when we first met. Godlevsky explained to me that on the 80th anniversary in the Union of Artists it was customary to arrange a personal exhibition. It was 1988, he turned 80 years old and he went to the director of the Union to negotiate an exhibition. Then the director asked Godlevsky - "Do you write in the same manner?" of course, the artist proudly replied, "Then we don't need your work," the director told him. This explained what Ivan Ivanovich had told me earlier about his work. Of course he was very flattered that I invited him to Paris. It was autumn and Ivan Ivanovich explained that he had planned a creative trip to Gurzuf to the house of the Union of Artists in the winter, and then he could come to me in Paris in the spring. Vera Dmitrievna tried to dissuade him in view of the fact that in the spring he will already be 83 years old, but he told her - "I will go, I must walk along the pavements that Van Gogh has stepped on.» Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky arrived in Paris in the spring of 1991. On March 9 we celebrated his 83rd birthday. I organized his personal exhibition at the DROUOT showroom on May 29, 1991. DROUO - exhibition halls with traditions dating back to the nineteenth century, all the great French artists exhibited their works here for the judgment of the Parisian public. The DROO halls are in great demand and all exhibitions are held here rapidly. Catalogs are prepared and sent to clients one month before the exhibition.
I.I. Godlevsky Novgorod landscape
хм 70 х 93
I. I. Godlevsky On the Volkhov River
HM. 70 x 93

The above works are examples of Russian landscapes by Godlevsky, which I presented at the exhibition. I have never seen landscapes painted in this manner by any Russian artist. The Russian villages depicted here look so colorful and pleasant that one wants to be there. Not surprisingly, the works of Godlewski captivated the French public.

On May 27, we hung paintings in the exhibition hall from 7 pm to 10 pm and on the morning of 28 we finished the hanging. We exhibited 150 paintings Godlevsky. At 11 am our exposition, brightly lit and decorated with bouquets of flowers, opened to the public. Many people came to the exhibition and were interested in painting a still unknown artist. We have about 300 catalogs left, which were not sent to clients and they were sold out in the first hour of the exhibition. The exhibition lasted only one day and the next day the sale of paintings began at 14.00. All seats in the hall were reserved. We arrived at the hall at 13.45 and saw a large the crowd. We had to enter from the back door. At the central entrance, we set tables, made a narrow passage and began to call people by name who had reserved their seats, but the freedom-loving French shouted "You have no right, this is a public place", pulled the tables and burst into the hall. All the seats were occupied in a second, at the end of the hall and behind its open doors there was a crowd of people.
Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna
at DROUOT, Paris 1991
Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna
at the Godlewski exhibition at the DRUO, Paris 1991

In such an atmosphere, the sale of Ivan Ivanovich's paintings began. Of the 150 works on display for the Parisian public, 148 were sold. This is how the French reacted to the painting of Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky. He became a renowned painter in France after the first exhibition. He was called the Russian Van Gogh. The next day I told Ivan Ivanovich what the French called him and he was very flattered, because Van Gogh was his idol. At the age of 83, Godlevsky finally received real recognition .. It was not for nothing that he told his fellow artists that he was painting masterpieces. I proved it for him. He became a famous and recognized artist and not somewhere, but in the capital of the cultural world of Paris. Of course, this success did not come to him by accident. Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky had tremendous talent and fate clearly favored him - the magnificent Mirgorod school, the professors of the Kiev Academy Fedor and Vasily Krichevsky, the magnificent master and professor of painting Alexander Osmerkin helped Godlevsky develop his talent and laid in him a craving for the right art, the ability to create it and always follow the principles that make art real and great. Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky did this all his life and was immensely happy that although he received recognition even in very mature years. As they say - better late than never.
I.I. Godlevsky Street near Montmartre
hmm 46 x 61.1991
I.I. Godlev Gardens near Montmartre, Paris
hmm 46 x 61.1991

He did not sit idle for a minute. I settled him near Montmartre and every morning Ivan Ivanovich went out with an easel to write his wonderful works, where his beloved Van Gogh once wrote them for them.

Ivan Ivanovich fell in love with the atmosphere of Montmartre. He lived in rue André del Sarto, an Italian painter who lived in Florence during the High Renaissance. Everything here breathed history. No wonder there is always a crowd of artists in Montmartre When Godlevsky chose a place for himself to paint a landscape, art admirers always stopped at the easel and watched his work. And the views of Montmartre were very picturesque. Ivan Ivanovich felt himself in his place. The above pictures were painted in Paris after his arrival.

After the exhibition I asked Godlevsky if he wanted to go back to Russia, but he answered me - "I don't have time, I have to work.»

First vacation in France.
It was the beginning of June 1991. I suggested that Ivan Ivanovich go on vacation to Corsica. He agreed with this proposal. A couple of days later we flew to Corsica. We flew to the Corsican airport Bastia, rented a car and drove to the southern city of Corsica, Porto Vecchio - Old Port in Italian. On the way we stopped at a small hotel and in the morning at breakfast on the terrace entwined with grapes Ivan Ivanovich began to tell me his biography. I remember I asked him how there was a revolution when he lived in the orphanage of Princess Venyaminova, he told me that it was scary to approach the windows - they were shooting. Godlevsky turned out to be a very good conversationalist, it was very interesting with him. Of course his favorite topic was talking about art. You could talk to him about this for hours. After breakfast we continued our journey and after 5 pm arrived in Porto Vecchio. We were driving through this pretty town and suddenly Ivan Ivanovich told me - stop here, There was a street in front of us with houses covered with red tiles and entwined with grapes, which descended from the mountain. Not far off, the blue sea shone. Ivan Ivanovich approached the dividing strip of the road and asked me to bring him here tomorrow at noon. The next day, at exactly 12.00, I drove the artist to the indicated place. Ivan Ivanovich settled down with his chair and easel on the dividing strip and asked me to come for him at 6 pm. When I arrived for him at 6, I saw a waiter with a tray who was carrying water for Ivan Ivanovich. I must say that people in France are very fond of creative people and treat them well. Thus was born the painting "At the very blue sea." I rented a vacation home in Porto Vecchio for Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna and flew to Paris.
I.I. Godlevsky At the port in Porto Vecchio
хм 61 х 80 1991
I. I. Godlevsky In the port of Porto Vecchio
hmm 61 x 80 1991

In the fall of 1991, I brought Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna to Paris after their vacation in Corsica. The apartment I put them in in Paris was one block from the Louvre. They went for a walk in the Tuileries garden, where there are amazing statues and they are not covered for the winter as in the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg. Behind the Louvre there is the Seine river where Ivan Ivanovich went to sketches. There he painted these two pictures shown below. On October 31, 1991, I made another exhibition of Godlevsky at DROO. For this exhibition I invited Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna. When they entered the hall filled with people, everyone stood up and applauded. This exhibition, like the first one, was a huge success.

As in Leningrad, Vera Dmitrievna was engaged in the economy, and Ivan Ivanovich - painting. Once a week we drove with Vera Dmitrievna to do grocery purchases at the supermarket. So half a year passed. Spring came to Paris and I talked with Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna about their future plans. They decided to stay in France for a while.

I.I. Godlevsky Ile de la Cité
hmm 46 x 61.1991
I.I. Godlevsky Barges on the Seine, Paris
HM. 46 x 61.1991

Living at Le Pradet in the South of France.
I offered them to move to the south of France to the sea in the province of VAR (VAR), to the village of Le Pradet, which was located near Mount St. The Victoire that Cezanne loved to write. Of course Ivan Ivanovich was delighted with this idea. We decided to get to Le Pradet from Paris by car. I wanted to show them their new country and we drove off the highway, on the country roads that France is no worse than the main route. Our first stop was the Orthodox Lesninsky Monastery. There are a lot of picturesque corners in France, but I wanted to show them something Russian. We stayed in a small French hotel, visited a monastery, dined in a fine restaurant, and in the morning continued our journey.
I am with Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna
Near the Lesninsky Monastery France 1992
Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna
Travel across France. 1992

By evening we arrived at Le Pradet. It is a very picturesque village by the sea. The villa that I rented for Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna was located two kilometers from the center of the village in the forest. There were seventeen pine trees on the plot, flower beds and a beautiful view from the terrace. I had to deliver their library from Leningrad to Le Pradet, Vera Dmitrievna was very fond of reading and could not imagine her life without her favorite books. And of course Ivan Ivanovich needed books on art, in addition to what he wrote various articles on art, he also read books on painting and always looked through the paintings of his favorite artists.

I flew to Paris to organize exhibitions of Russian art. And then he began to fly to Le Pradet on weekends, since it took only 1 hour 10 minutes to fly from Orly airport in Paris to Toulon airport. They loved life in the south of France,

Vera Dmitrievna once told me - we live in paradise, and you are our god. Of course, I was very flattered by this wonderful praise.
Le Pradet advertising card
Ivan Ivanovich on the terrace of the villa in Le Pradet
After two exhibitions in Paris, Godlewski's popularity began to grow. I received an offer from the Ansoren Gallery in Madrid, which opened in 1845. An exhibition of Ivan Ivanovich's works was held there in January 1992. So Godlevsky also became famous in Spain, the homeland of many artists. Of course, Ivan Ivanovich was very fond of Spanish classical art, but among the artists closer to our time he loved Dali very much for his exuberant imagination and whom he perceived as a master of applied art and Picasso, whose strongest works he found the blue and pink period.

Vera Dmitrievna and Ivan Ivanovich lived in Markiza Lane, 700 meters from the sea. They went out for a walk every morning. Nearby there was an old park in which there was a French fort of the 18th century. There were old trees in the park. Once we walked with Ivan Ivanovich in the pre-sunset time and he exclaimed - what a purple tree, I looked at this huge tree, but did not notice that it was purple, for me it was gray-green. Then I read the works of a French doctor who wrote about the features vision of artists. He wrote that artists see everything around them brighter than other people and this may explain the unusually beautiful and bright colors of Godlevsky's works.

After the exhibition at the Ansoren Gallery in January 1992, I organized three more exhibitions of works by Russian artists in Paris until the end of 1992 .. Ivan Ivanovich has always played a major role in these exhibitions. I put his work on the cover of the catalog.
Ivan Ivanovich by the sea.
Me and Vera Dmitrievna under the pine tree near our villa.
When I came to visit Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna, we always went on small excursions in the South of France.

Once we arrived at the port of the town of Hyeres, which is located not far from Le Pradet. There were a lot of boats and sailing yachts in the port, which absolutely captivated Ivan Ivanovich. He asked me to bring him here so that he could work here. Then we found a wonderful seafood restaurant and went there for lunch. Since then, on every visit we went to this port, left Ivan Ivanovich to write there, and Vera Dmitrievna and I went to inspect the surroundings. And then we returned to the port after a few hours and all went to this restaurant together, they really liked it. Once Vera Dmitrievna and I were walking around the town of Hyers and found a wonderful cafe on the square. In front of the cafe there was a huge shady tree under which there were tables. After lunch at the port restaurant, I invited them to this cafe for dessert. We ordered ice cream in large glass glasses. The ice cream was tricolor with umbrellas. Ivan Ivanovich, of course, had never seen anything like it. He stared at the ice cream for a long time and then told me surprisingly Volodya. We had such a pleasant and funny time.

But I worked in Paris and could only visit them two or three times a month. I already treated this lovely couple as my parents.
I am with Ivan Ivanovich before the New Year
in a villa in Le Pradet Le pradet

Walking along the Marquis Lane. Le pradet
While Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna were enjoying life in the south of France, I continued to popularize Godlevsky's art in various European countries. In early 1993, I visited Hamburg, where I met the owner of the Elysium Gallery, which was located in the five-star Elysium Hotel. I presented her with Godlewski's work and arranged for an exhibition to be held at the gallery from June to September 1993. The husband of Mrs. Blok was the owner of the hotel, and his wife was engaged in the gallery and the social life of this

lovely hotel. She loved France very much and they had a stylized Champ Elysee boulevard in their hotel, like in Paris. There was her gallery. They held the exhibition on a grand scale. The director of the Russian Museum Vladimir Alexandrovich Gusev and the entire social world of the city of Hamburg were invited to it. Of course, I invited Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna to this event.

The opening of the exhibition was grandiose. We have provided the work of Godlevsky Morning on the Neva to the Russian Museum. Vladimir Alexandrovich Gusev, in his speech about Godlevsky, praised his painting very much and was very flattered that the work of an artist from St.Russian Museum at an exhibition in Hamburg.

So Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky became a recognized artist in his hometown of St. Petersburg and in his native country of Russia.
V.A. Gusev and Krista Blok in the photo in the article about the transfer of the work of Godlevsky to the Russian Museum
I.I. Godlevsky Morning on the Neva
After the opening of the triumphal exhibition in Hamburg, we returned to Le Pradet.

In December 1993 I presented the work of Ivan Ivanovich for the exhibition in Drouot, which, as always, was a great success.

In 1994 I organized an exhibition of Godlewski in Zurich, at the Koller gallery. This is one of the most famous galleries in Switzerland. In the same year, two exhibitions of Ivan Ivanovich were held in Germany, in Munich and Dusseldorf. Now Godlewski's work has traveled throughout Europe. The exhibition at the Koller Gallery in Switzerland took place in April 1994 and was so successful that Mr. Pierre Koller proposed me to do another exhibition in October 1994. Also in December 1994, I organized an exhibition of Ivan Ivanovich's works in Geneva and the last exhibition in 1994 was held in Hamburg.

Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna did not expect such a success and were absolutely happy.

The year 1995 also passed with exhibitions in France and Germany. In early 1996, Madame Block called me and asked to organize in her Elisey gallery another exhibition of Godlevsky, this time from February to June, so much the work of Ivan Ivanovich was to the taste of representatives of the high society in Hamburg. Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna were invited to the opening of the exhibition, but Ivan Ivanovich fell ill and could not go. In March 1996 he turned 88 years old. Unfortunately, he started having heart problems and had to be admitted to the hospital, where he spent two months. Then at the end of 1996 Ivan Ivanovich asked me to take him home to St. Petersburg. He told me that he wanted to return to the studio, where he created most of his paintings. ... I helped them move back home in December 1996. Now he was the most famous artist in St. Petersburg. Everyone in art circles knew him and heard about his exhibitions in Europe. Sometimes they hosted artists' evenings in their atelier and it was an honor for any person of art to be invited to them. March 9, 1998 Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky turned 90 years old. In the middle of March 1998, the great artist died.
I.I. Godlevsky Self-portrait
sq.m. 48 x 35 1974
I. Godlevsky At the dacha in Le Pradet
I. I. Godlevsky Vera, the artist's wife, oil on canvas 70 x 50.1959
After the departure of Ivan Ivanovich and Vera Dmitrievna, I made several more exhibitions of Godlevsky in Europe; In 1999, I received an offer to work at Sotheby's and moved to London. As a well-known art critic in the field of Russian art of the 20th century, Sotheby's gave me a license to exhibit works of Russian artists on their website.

Now, in order to visit Vera Dmitrievna, I had to fly to St. Petersburg, which I did with pleasure. Vera Dmitrievna and I decided to publish books about Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky. The first book by Ivan Godlevsky was published in 2004. Second book Color Master Ivan Godlevsky was published in 2006.

Then, since 2007, I began to participate in the RUSSIAN ANTIQUE SALONS, which took place in the CHA. I represented at my exhibitions the artists of Russian Paris and of course the French impressionists.

Artists of Russian Paris are artists who, due to historical circumstances, ended up in Paris after the revolution, and let me say, also after perestroika.

Among the artists of Russian Paris, the following artists participated in my exhibitions:

Alexander Altman, Boris Vasilyevich Bessonov, Konstantn Aleksandrovich Veshchilov, Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov, Boris Dmitrievich Grigoriev, Aleksey Vasilievich Grishchenko, Mikhail Konstantinovich Kikoin, Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin, Nikolai Vasilievich Krichevsky, Georgy Aleksandrovich Lapshin, Pozhida and Nikolayevich Anatolevich.

When all these above-mentioned artists fled from Russia to Paris after the revolution. It was a great honor for me to present their work in their home country of Russia. And of course, at every exhibition that I presented at the Russian Antique Salons, the works of Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky were presented.
In 2015, I organized the exhibition Russian Paris and Ivan Godlevsky at the Russian Academy of Art, where Ivan Ivanovich Godlevsky and many of the artists of Russian Paris studied at one time. The exhibition was held in two exhibition halls of the Academy -

the Raphael Hall and the Titian Hall. At the opening of the exhibition, in my speech, I noticed that I organized art exhibitions in many capitals of Europe, but never in such magnificent halls as in the Russian Academy of Art, for the reason that there are simply no such halls.

Expert of Russian art of the twentieth century Vladimir Kaplunov

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