EXHIBITION „THE BRILLIANCE OF RUSSIAN PAINTERS“
FROM VLADIMIR PESHICH’S COLLECTION,
RUSSIAN CENTRE OF SCIENCE AND CULTURE IN BELGRADE „THE RUSSIAN HOUSE“, QUEEN NATALIA STR. 33,
MAY 12 – JUNE 14 2022.
– Press Release –
Exhibition „The brilliance of Russian painters“ from Vladimir Peshich’s Collection will be held at The Russian House in Belgrade, from May 12 to June 14.
The emphasis of the exhibition „The brilliance of Russian painters“ in the Russian House is on symbolic historical events, which show the attitude of West’s towards Russia over the centuries, but also how the Russians managed to preserve their own identity and connections with Orthodox Slavs, especially Serbs. Unfortunately, for objective reasons, Vladimir Peshich was not able to present all the works from his rich collection at this exhibition, which he thought could be educative and interesting.
The exhibition opens with one of the first paintings that Vladimir Peshich bought, back in 1989 in Moscow, and which he is showing to the public for the first time. It is the painting “Colling the Slavic people to baptism” by the magnificent painter of His Imperial Majesty – Adolf Charlemagne. The painting shows Prince Vladimir, who of all faiths chose Orthodoxy, because it was closest to his soul, and the most understandable because of the Old Slavonic language and script. Prince Vladimir calls Polyans, a tribe that lived on the territory of Kievan Rus’, to accept Orthodox Christianity. The country he ruled was called Kievan Russia, and today, along with that name, the Ancient Russian state or Ancient Russia is also used. The capital was Kiev.
Through works from his collection, Vladimir Peshich also reminds the public of the Crimean War, which was led by an alliance of the United Kingdom, France, the Ottoman Empire and the Italian Kingdom of Piedmont, against Russia in the middle of the 19th century. One of the best Russian war painters, Nikolai Semenovich Samokish, painted a series of paintings related to the heroic defense of Sevastopol that lasted 349 days.
The painting “Hagia Sophia” by Vladimir Alexandrovich Plotnikov suggests that the Russians were at the gates of Constantinople twice only during the nineteenth century, but withdrew in order to preserve peace in Europe. This painting of V.A. Plotnikov shows neither military conflicts nor their consequences, but the whole composition exudes religious-historical reminiscences. Hagia Sophia, which no one is looking at in his painting, is trapped between four minarets. The melancholic gaze of the woman is focused on the past of the largest Orthodox Church. As she listens to the sound of the shargia, she hears the liturgy, not hiding her concern for the future, symbolized by a girl dressed in innocent white color.
The central place of the exhibition occupied by the enigmatic portrait of Princess Mafalda of Savoy, the granddaughter of King Nikola Petrovich Nyegos, the work of Stepan Fedorovich Kolesnikov, a great painter who the Serbs love very much and see as their own artist. Two more of his painting will be presented in this exhibition – “Spring, 1946″, an extraordinary landscape that recently become part of Peshich’s Collection, as well as the Pavilion of the Ministry of Social Policy. Exhibition of Disabled Workers”, which is also on the title page of the catalogue for this exhibition.
The painting “Bogatyr Dobrynya Nikitich” by Konstantin Konstantinovich Kuznetsov with a Thank-you letter to Olga, Nikola and Beba Tabakovich signed by the Russian cavalry general Nikolai Nikolaevich Baratov, speaks of the deep intertwining between the Serbian and Russian people.
Exhibition „The brilliance of Russian painters“ presents also works by excellent portraitists, such as Grigory Ivanovich Samoilov, painter and architect, Ananii Alexeevich Verbitsky, the unique art chronicler of Belgrade, Nikolai Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, one of the most famous Russian painters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Boris Ivanovich Pastuhov, whose exhibited portrait of an infant is one of the rare examples in fine arts, and Igor Vasiliev, a great artist whose unrestrained spirit has always been in conflict with the socialist realist times in which he lived.
Petr Petrovich Sokolov gained great popularity as a watercolorist in the 19th century, with works on the topic of hunting and peasant life. He is represented at this exhibition with the watercolor piece “Russian Troika”. Then follow the works of brilliant painters who show all the splendor of the Russian school of landscape painting – Alexander Ivanovich Lazhechnikov, Vladimir Pavlovich Zelinsky and Nikolai Krivoshein, joined by a realistically flawless panorama of Red Square in Moscow, the work of Vasily Vasilyevich Golikov, esteemed film artist and painter.
The painting “Miners” from 1923, by Nikolai Vasilyevich Haritonov, a student of the great Repin, is part of all exhibitions organized by Vladimir Peshich because of the message this painting carries – the joint work of people of different religions is the way to a better future.
“The Brilliance of Russian painters” exhibition presents also icons painted by Russian icon painters in the late ХIХ and early ХХ century.
„Of course, the artistic value of the presented works is always in the foreground. In order for the symbolic value that the work carries to survive through the centuries, it must be expressed by mastery. And the works that are exhibited at the “The Brilliance of Russian painters” exhibition at the Russian House, carry a strong message and exceptional mastery at the same time”, emphasizes Vladimir Peshich and adds:
„The exhibition, which will be held at the Russian House has been prepared and is taking place in very specific circumstances. First of all, because of the events in Russia and Ukraine, which are very reminiscent of previous centuries and the attitude that Western powers had towards the Slavs and, especially, Russia. All the more so because, neither guilty nor obligated, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Russian art in general, were hit by Western sanctions, although they belong for long time now, not only to Russia and the Russians, but to all humanity. After all, art is the most important, if not the only trace that remains after us“.
Nikola Kusovac, a retired museum adviser who closely monitors Peshich’s work, says the following – „Vladimir Peshich, guided by the immeasurable love, took over, on his own account, the role of a specialized museum-gallery institution. Over time, in accordance with the effort, collected necessary data, acquired knowledge, learning about scientific and archival materials, by examining the situation on the locations, especially in the market of works of art and antiques, and of course according to his own financial possibilities, without anyone’s help, the forms of one significant and special art collection began to take shape. This exhibition, organized in the Belgrade Russian House, entitled “The Brilliance of Russian painters”, which represents a selection of paintings from the Vladimir Peshich’s Collection defined primarily by the current events, testifies in the best way about the nature and achievements of that collection.“
The exhibition will be opened on May 12 at 5 pm by Nikola Kusovac, retired museum advisor. The guests will also be addressed by Vladimir Peshich, the owner of the collection and the author of the concept of this exhibition, as well as officials of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Serbia.
THE BRILLIANCE OF RUSSIAN PAINTERS from the collection of Vladimir Peshich
City Museum Vrsac, January 22 – March 13 2022
The exhibition „The Brilliance of Russian Painters“, with paintings from the collection of Vladimir Peshich, was opened on Saturday, January 22nd. Due to the great interest of the public, the City Museum Vrsac extended duration of this exhibition until March 13th 2022. Numerous collective and individual visits, news and reports in the culture sections and central news programs of the most important Serbian media, indicate both the value of the exhibited paintings and the quality of the exhibition concept.
„The Brilliance of Russian Painters“ exhibition presents works of Russian artists who, in the period between the two wars, mostly worked on the territory of Serbia, from the private collection of Vladimir Pesic. This collection is presented to the Serbian audience for the first time.
Vladimir Peshich has been collecting paintings carefully and for a long time. His collections is constantly growing and part of it, which is exhibited in Vrsac, presents, among others, works by Stepan Fedorovich Kolesnikov and his enigmatic portrait of Princess Mafalda of Savoy; then 4 paintings by Nikolai Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, an artist who lived and worked in Vrsac and about whom the famous artist Ily Repin said the most beautiful words; then the work “Bogatir Dobrinya Nikitich” by Konstantin Konstatinovich Kuznetsov with a thank-you letter to Olga, Nikola and Beba Tabakovich, signed by the Russian cavalry general Nikolai Nikolayevich Baratov. Serbian art lovers can enjoy the painting “Miners” by Kharitonov Nikolai Vasilyevich, then the works of Maikovski Ippolit Danilovich, “Russian Troika” by Pyotr Petrovich Sokolov, landscapes by Alexander Ivanovich Lazhechnikov, Vladimir Pavlovich Zelinsky and Nikolai Krivoshein.
“The Brilliance of Russian painters” exhibition presents also icons painted by Russian icon painters in the late ХIХ and early ХХ century.
Part of the exposition is dedicated to Branislav Maksimovich, grandfather of Vladimir Peshich, who was born in Vrsac. Together with his brothers, in the thirties of the last century, he founded the university quartet „Brothers Maksimovich“. This quartet achieved significant success outside the borders of the former Yugoslavia, especially in the United States, where in 1936 they recorded a dozen records. The portrait of Branislav Maksimovich, which is also part of the exhibition, was done by Igor Vasiliev, the son of Russian emigrants, a great artist of unfortunate destiny.
Numerous visitors and guests at the opening of the exhibition were first addressed by Ivana Ranimirov, acting director of the City Museum Vrsac, who pointed out that the exhibition “The Brilliance of Russian Painters”, in addition to the great artistic value, arouses deep feelings and reminds us of the deep historical relations between Serbian and Russian people: „World War I, turbulent events in Tsarist Russia, the October Revolution – these are the events that forced more than two million people to leave Russia. A river of representatives of Russian high society and the intelligentsia flowed into Serbia. This immeasurable human potential will have a great influence in the kingdom and will contribute to the development of Serbia in the fields of science, culture and certainly art. The Society of Russian Engineers and the Society of Russian Architects are founded in Serbia, Aleksandar Ignjatovski is one of the founders of the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, one of such representatives is Georgiye Ostrogorski, who founded the Department of Byzantology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade.“ Ms. Ranimirov paid special attention to Nikolai Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, who settled in Vrsac in 1920, where he dedicated himself to his artistic and educational work: „He was also involved in humanitarian work, helping Russian emigrants by organizing sales exhibitions. In 1923, he exhibited in Vrsac and in 1928 in Belgrade. On the back cover of the catalog you will see the painting „Vrsac market“ from 1926, the work of Kuznetsov from the collection of Mr. Peshich, which announces a joint exhibition of Mr. Vladimir Peshich and the City Museum Vrsac, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the exhibition which Kuznetsov held in this city. The exhibition we are opening today and the exhibition we will open is a way to proudly look back at our ancestors and our deep-rooted, unbreakable relations between Serbia and Russia”, concluded Ivana Ranimirov, announcing future cooperation with collector Vladimir Peshich.
Art historian and retired museum adviser Nikola Kusovac, spoke about the artistic value of the exhibition, emphasizing that Vladimir Peshich, is a man who loves art, and he is doing what the state should be doing for the sake of good relations between Serbs and Russians: „Between the two wars, the Russians helped Serbia so much, since they have suffered a lot in the First World. The Russians took over everything that was important to us, from medicine, theater, culture and architecture. In this exhibition, among other things, we talk about the closeness and intertwining of two nations in history and culture“. Nikola Kusovac also drew attention to the works of Nikolai Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, who lived and worked in Vrsac, he especially emphasized the value of the work „Spring. Princess Mafalda of Savoy“ by Stepan Fyodorovich Kolesnikov – an enigmatic portrait of great artistic value that occupies a central place in the exhibition „The Brilliance of Russian Painters“: „Our museums should deal with these important artists and the collection of Vladimir Peshich should be a matter of interest for them“, emphasized Nikola Kusovac and shared with the visitors a personal, emotional note: „This exhibition means a lot to me, because I survived thanks to the Russian emigrant doctor Vladimir Petrovich Gerasimov, a philanthropist who treated children for free“.
The exhibition was officially opened by Miroslav Lepir, a member of the City Council in charge of education, who pointed out the importance of the City Museum for Vrsac, talked about the city government’s efforts in developing culture, art and education, emphasizing that such projects will always be supported.
In the artistic part of the program, we saw the church choir of the St. Nicholas Church, led by conductor Olga Shinkovich, small ballerinas from the studio for contemporary dance and professor doctor Uros Doychinovich, who showed his virtuosity on guitar by performing a mix of Russian songs.
In the packed hall of the City Museum Vrsac, among the guests were representatives of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Serbia: Alexander Konanykhin, First Counselor and Attaché for Culture, Igor Kiselev, First Secretary at the Embassy, as well as Evgeny Baranov, Director of The Russian House — Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade.
„I must say that for the last 4 years, this is the most professionally prepared exhibition of all that I have seen in Serbia. An incredible level! In principle, this exhibition can be organized in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis as well. If we had a chance to see these paintings in Moscow, I believe that the audience there would be satisfied just as well“, points out Alexander Konanyhin, First Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation and Attaché for Culture.
„I see here great paintings, which I have never seen before. This is an opportunity for me to see Russian painters that I have never seen before, even in Moscow“, states the director of The Russian House — Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade, Evgeny Baranov.
The author of the exhibition, collector Vladimir Peshich, emphasized that he had prepared the exhibition carefully and for a long time and that he did not choose Vrsac by chance as the place where he would present a part of his collection. His family roots connect him to this city, because his mother Ivana was born in the Maksimovich family from Vrsac. His grandfather Branislav Maksimovich set out with his brothers from this city to conquer Europe and the United States with a Serbian song. „Art feeds the soul. And just as many have created large personal libraries, collections of films or musical works, so have I – for decades I was forming a collection of paintings and art objects that inspire and ennoble me. I wanted to share with others the joy I feel every day when I see the works of art in my collection, and that led to this exhibition in Vrsac“.
As part of its pedagogical activities, the City Museum Vrsac organizes children’s workshops, which Vladimir Peshich joined with great pleasure and enthusiasm, trying to bring closer to the youngest ones the importance of art in the spiritual development of both individual and society, through his own experiences. „We try to bring children closer to the universal values that works of art evoke in a person. I sincerely believe that in these workshops, while observing a landscape or portrait, or through a conversation about a painting, they will develop a fondness for art and that it will be a spark that will permanently bind them to the intangible side of life that art provides. I will be very happy if I manage to convey to them at least a part of the nobility that art has brought into my life. It is a special pleasure when the children perform the program they prepared for the occasion, because nothing can replace their cheerfulness and smile“, emphasizes Vladimir Peshich.
Vladimir Peshich’s Collection consist of paintings and works of applied art, primarily by Russian and Serbian artists, as well as works by foreign artists, icons, and unique ivory antiques.
Vladimir developed a fondness for art in his family. He came to Moscow as a child, where he got to know Soviet artists and got to visit famous museums together with his father Dusan Peshich, a top journalist and famous correspondent of the newspaper “Politika”. He lived in Moscow from 1983 to 1997, where he finished not only high school, but also the Faculty of Foreign Languages.
Vladimir’s ancestors began to form the family collection at the beginning of the 20th century.
The turning point for the idea of forming and significantly expanding the family collection happened during Gorbachev’s perestroika, when the first auction of paintings of the famous Sotheby’s house was held in Moscow 1988. Exactly that event made Vladimir Peshich even more interested in works of art. Vladimir bought the first painting in Moscow in 1989 in a Moscow commission store. And later, when he visited in London in 1990, the auction of Russian paintings organized by “Sotheby’s”, he started searching for and buying valuable paintings by famous Russian artists with great passion and love. Beside the paintings, he began collecting icons and unique antiques.
During the past years, Vladimir Peshich became an internationally acclaimed collector. He is a member of The International Confederation of Collectors, Antique & Art Dealers of Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), CINOA (The International Confederation of Art & Antique Dealer Associations engaged in the conservation, protection and promotion of antiques and art works) and DAS (Society of Antique Dealers of Serbia).
Thanks to many years of life and work in Moscow, Vladimir Peshich has established excellent business and friendly relations with experts who are able to estimate what is really an original and what is a skillfully made forgery. His authority among Russian art lovers certainly contributes to the reputation of Serbian collectors outside the borders of Serbia.
The art lovers and people who appreciate valuable paintings believe in Vladimir Peshich’s selection and expertise and are well acquainted with Vladimir Peshich’s Collection and his work.
Works of art from Vladimir Peshich’s Collection have been presented on many exhibitions, as well at several prestigious antique salons in Moscow. The last time a part of his collection was exhibited at the elite 46th Russian Antiques salon. The value of Vladimir Peshich’s Collection is recognized by the fact that the paintings were exhibited in the prestigious part of the “Gostiny Dvor” hall, of an elite exhibition space near Moscow’s Red.
Vladimir Peshich has provided a comprehensive support in publishing catalogs, monographs and books in the field of fine arts, provided financial support to museums and for his help in preparing the exhibition and catalog of the artist Vasily Timm he was awarded the title “Friend of the Latvian National Museum of Art”.
The goal and motto of Vladimir Peshich’s work is to preserve art as a cultural heritage and show it to the audience and future generations. Detailed information about the collection can be found on the website www.russianartcollection.com.
The exhibition “The Brilliance of Russian Painters”, with a partially changed concept, will be set up at the Russian Center for Science and Culture – The Russian House in Belgrade, starting from May 12, 2022.
VLADIMIR PESHICH’S COLLECTION AS A GUIDELINE TO THE STATE
Introducing Vladimir Peshich as a collector and participant of the representative Antique Salon, which is regularly held in Moscow, in fact writing in the newspapers “Vecernje novosti”, on April 21 2021, about his third and very notable participation on this important event, Branko Vlahovic, correspondent of the mention newspapers, obviously a connoisseur of Peshich’s collection of paintings and antiques, concludes that the intertwined destinies of Serbs and Russians, have made these already close people even closer. If I now emotionally and intimately point out that you would not have the opportunity to read these lines, if during that difficult time of the German occupation of Cetinje, I was not literally snatched from the jaws of serious illness and then, with generous help in food and medicine, saved by my neighbor, doctor, pediatrician, Russian emigrant and above all philanthropist Vladimir Petrovich Gerasimovich, born in Kiev in 1875 and died as a “true support and hope for the mothers of sick children in Cetinje” in 1962, that would be just another negligibly small and insignificant confirmation of what Vlahovic has concluded.
Essentially important, and as I believe the most important historical events that confirm the true intertwining of two fraternal Slavic people, Russians and Serbs, took place immediately after the Firs World War. Their miserable fate (Serbs who emerged victorious from the Great War but severely crippled, without a third or even more of biologically potent men who laid their lives on the altar of the fatherland, and Russians who had many victims in the fratricidal civil war between “red” and “white” during the unfortunate October revolution, which ended in the persecution of hundreds of thousands of the best Russian men, at the peak of biological and creative forces) conditioned that one, not too large but for the perished Serbs capitally important, part of the Russian refugees, tens of thousands of educated officers, scientists, pedagogues, doctors, engineers, builders, artists of all profiles and so on, reached the devastated but more than grateful new state of southern Slavs, founded on excessive Serb casualties. Their work performance was crucial for the good functioning of all important institutions, many of which were established by them – the newly created state community.
That is exactly why, every attempt, even the smallest one, every effort, whatever it may be, to practically strengthen the closeness of Russians and Serbs, which was already built by historical events, deserves our full attention and support. In this regard, the efforts of Vladimir Peshich as a collector of Russian antiques and, above all, works of Russian artists who lived and worked for some time in areas from Triglav to Gevgelija and from Subotica to Dubrovnik, especially in Serbia and together with the Serbs, are more than fruitful, purposeful and worthy of all praise. That is why this exhibition of selected art works by Russian artists who are related to this area with their life and work, especially to Banat and to the nearby Bela Crkva, a important gathering center of Russian emigrant elite and military and cadet schools, and which Peshich is now presenting in Vrsac, the city of his ancestors, should be wholeheartedly praised and strongly supported.
Vladimir Peshich, guided by the immeasurable love, took over, by himself, the role of a specialized museum-gallery institution. Over time, in accordance with the efforts, acquired knowledge, by getting acquainted with scientific and archival materials, by examining the situation on the locations, especially in the market of works of art and antiques, and of course according to his own financial possibilities, without anyone’s help, the forms of one significant and special art collection began to take shape. This exhibition in Vrsac testifies in the best way about the nature and achievements of that collection – starting with the works of painters such as, Nikolai Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, Ipolit Danilovich Majkovski and Stepan Fyodorovich Kolesnikov, than showing one work of Peter Petrovich Sokolov, Nikolai Vasilievich Haritonov and Konstantin Konstantinovich Kuznetsov, an extraordinary comic book artist; as well as the paintings of prolific Alexander Ivanovich Lazhechnikov, Vladimir Pavlovich Zelinsky and Nikolai Krivoshein, an outspoken admirer and follower of the popular “Wanderer artist” Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin.
In addition to the above-mentioned painters, whose works are currently the core value of the Vladimir Peshich’s collection in Serbia, several examples of Russian serial icons painted during the XIX century are part of this exhibition, as well as one family-inherited portrait of Branko Maksimovic, the work of extremely talented young painter Igor Vasilyev. Exactly by including this work created in 1950, in the collection which he now presents, Peshich is giving as a hint on logically determined his future collector’s orientation towards the generation of young Russian artists, daughters and sons of the first wave of Russian emigrants, such as Igor Marklen Mosilyenko, Olya Ivanyicki and the most important among them Leonid Sheika. In any case, what Vladimir Peshich is doing is a good guideline for our country, i.e. its institutions for the protection of cultural and artistic heritage.