Issupoff Alessio (Alexey) Vladimirovich
March 10, 1889 (Vyatka) — July 17, 1957 (Rome)
Painter, graphic artist
Alessio Issupoff was born to a family of engraver. He studied painting in the icon workshop. In 1908 he moved to Moscow, entered Moscow School of painting, sculpture and architecture (MUZhVZ); there he studied under the guidance of A. E. Arkhipov and A. M. Vasnetsov. He also attended the studios of K. A. Korovin and V. A. Serov. Issupoff graduated from the School in 1913.
Since 1909 Issupoff was a member of Vyatka Art Circle. He took part in foundation of Vyatka Art Museum. From 1910 till 1915 Issupoff exposed his works at the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists. Since 1912 he participated in the exhibitions of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (TPKhV); since 1916 he was a member of this Society.
In 1914 Issupoff was called up for military service; he was sent to the reserve regiment in Turkestan. In 1917 he was demobilized from army service due to application of the Union of Russian Artists. In 1919 he taught in Tashkent Art School. In 1920 Issupoff moved to Samarkand; there he depicted mosaic panels and architecture of the ancient city on the instructions of the Commission for Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments. He painted a series of oriental landscapes and genre scenes.
In 1921 Issupoff returned to Moscow. He painted several pictures dedicated to the Revolution. By the order of the government Issupoff painted a series of portraits of the Soviet statesmen. In early 1920s Issupoff had symptoms of tuberculosis. At the doctors’ insistence, Issupoff moved to Italy, settled in Rome. In 1920s–1930s he traveled through Italy; he painted landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life. He gained the recognition in European art circles by his paintings. The personal exhibitions of the artist were successfully held in Rome (1927, 1928, 1933, 1945), in Milan (1929–1931), in Bergamo (1935), in Trieste (1935), and in Turin (1937). He also took part in exhibitions in France, Holland and Belgium.
Works of Issupoff were exposed at the soviet exhibitions, in particular the First State Traveling Exhibition in 1925 and others. Issupoff sympathized with the Soviet Russia; he was acquainted with Maxim Gorky, with D. I. Kursky the USSR ambassador in Rome. During the World War II he participated in Italian Resistance.
After the War, Issupoff did not paint a lot, because of disease of his hands; he painted only still lifes.
Memorial exhibitions of Issupoff were held in Kirov (1971), in Moscow (1973), and in Tashkent (1977).
In his art Alessio Issupoff combined the Russian art traditions and the European art schools’ technique. However in Russia his name was known only by art experts. His fruitful part of art life was in Italy; there he became famous as a significant painter and graphic artist. He worked in different genres: portrait, landscape, still life, animal painting.
Works by Alessio Issupoff are in many European and Russian museum collections, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the Galleries of Modern Art in Milan and Naples, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The biggest collection of Issupoff’s heritage is in Kirov Regional Art Museum named after V. M. and A. M. Vasnetsovs; the widow of the artist bequeathed to Kirov Museum great part of Issupoff’s works from Rome (approximately 300 paintings).