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(Russian, b. 1956)
Standing at odds with the artistic barriers of his county, Nicolai Kuznetsov was determined to explore and express his passion for Impressionism.
Born in Moscow in 1956, Nicolai received his Bachelor’s Degree from Serov College in Moscow, and later obtained his Master’s Degree in the prestigious Surikov Academy of Fine Arts. While at the Academy, he studied under the tutelage of the professor and well- known Russian artist Ilia Glazunov.
Artistically, Nicolai had always been drawn to Impressionism but the government forbade such paintings. During his college years, Nicolai, like the other students, received classical training, but was forced to paint in the government approved Socialist Reform style, which exalted workers, ordinary citizens, and communist leaders.
Such a ban, however, was not enough to squelch Nicolai’s desire to create paintings that possessed the beauty and emotion of impressionism, so he began his quest in secret. In his private studio, Nicolai studied old archives and photographs from the last century to get a feel for the time and period. He explored the world of impressionism through the old books and prints that were smuggled to him.
It was only after the collapse of the totalitarian regime in Russia that Nicolai was able to display his works publicly. He began to exhibit his impressionist paintings and his work was welcomed as a breath of fresh air. Nicolai became widely recognized both in Russia and abroad.
Today Nicolai still paints in his Moscow studio, but he spends his summers in France. There he finds ample inspiration to fuel his love for impressionistic scenes. As well, each summer his paintings are offered at annual art auctions in Paris.
The charming and inspirational works of Nicolai Kuznetsov can be found in collections all around Europe, the United States, and Russia.