The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: Illustrators of “Anna Karenina”

Vistavka_Anna_Karenina_01_1November 25 - December 20, 2015
Leo Tolstoy Tula State Pedagogical University
(Tula, Mendeleevskaya, 7)

The exhibition, dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the beginning of the novel’s publication in the Russky Vestnik magazine will open as part of the 7th Leo Tolstoy Interacademic Students’ Readings. The exhibition will show illustrations of the novel Anna Karenina by Russian artists from the collection of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum. They include works by N.A. Tyrsa (1939), K.I. Rudakov (1940), O.G. Vereisky (the 1970s), A. Hojdre (1978), and V.D. Medvedev (1984), and also paintings by A.V. Vanetsian (1950-52). 


Working on the book illustration, the artist tries to grasp the essence of the literary work and to feel it with his heart. Sometimes illustrations are a result of direct collaboration between a writer and an artist. The artist Bashilov’s graphic illustrations to the first editions of War and Peace, created while the novel was being written, were a successful example of such work.

Illustrators of Anna Karenina did not repeat Bashilov’s experience; they created their works for the finished text of the novel. In Leo Tolstoy’s lifetime, the main heroine was pictured by the artists E.M. Bem (the late 1870s), M.A. Vrubel (1883), M.V. Nesterov (1887), G.M. Manizer (1904), and others.

Background information:

Nikolai Tyrsa (1887 – 1942) – Russian painter, graphic artist, specialist in applied art and teacher, representative of the Leningrad school of landscape painting. Taught at the Petrograd Fine Arts Academy, the State Art and Industrial Workshops (1918-1922), and the Leningrad Institute of Civil Engineers (1924-1942).   


Konstantin Rudakov (1891-1949) – Russian Soviet graphic artist and teacher, member of the Leningrad Union of Artists. In the 1920s, worked a great deal as a satirical graphic artist for such magazines as “Chizh,” “Yozh,” “Begemot,” “Smekhach,” and “Krokodil.” Gained fame and recognition from his illustrations to Russian and European classical literary works: “Evgeny Onegin” by A.S. Pushkin (1934), “Nana” by É. Zola (1935-37), “Bel Ami” by G. de Maupassant (1935-37), “The Nutcracker” by A. Hoffmann (1937), “Anna Karenina (1942-45) and “War and Peace” (1941-48) by Tolstoy, “The Government Inspector” by N. Gogol (1948), «Manon Lescaut” by A. Prévost (1948) and others.    

Orest Vereisky (1915-1993) – Soviet artist, book illustrator. People’s Artist of the USSR (1983). Winner of the USSR State Award (1978). Famous for his book illustrations. Illustrated works by M.A. Sholokhov, K.G. Paustovsky, A.A. Fadeev, A.T. Tvardovsky, M.M. Prishvin, I.A. Bunin, E. Hemingway and other writers. 


Alexander Hojdre (1916 - ?) –painter, graphic artist. Member of the USSR Union of Artists. Honoured Artist of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (1969), professor. Specialized in easel graphic works, illustrations, and posters.

Aram Vanetsian (1901-1971) – Soviet graphic artist and landscape painter. Created numerous illustrations to «The Snow Storm” by A.S. Pushkin, “Ismail-Bei,” “Spaniards” and “A Hero of Our Time” by M. Yu. Lermontov, the stories “Three Years” and “Gooseberries” and the novella “Ward Number Six” by A. P. Chekhov, and others.    

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