The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Music of Color: Exhibition of Works by Oleg Tolstoy

1June 10 - July 8, 2017
Exhibition Hall of the Volkonsky House

The exhibition dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the artist Oleg Tolstoy’s birth will take place on June 9 at 20:20, as part of the Tolstoy Weekend festival. Oleg Tolstoy‘s daughter, Natalia Tolstaya, will open the exhibition.

On display will be Oleg Tolstoy‘s works from the collections of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and the artist‘s family. His children provided a unique collection of works done between 1956 and 1992, from the time the artist got his diploma at the Surikov Art Institute to the last year of his life. 

The visitors will see graphic works, landscapes, still lifes, and family portraits, among which there is a portrait of Leo Tolstoy‘s eldest son Sergey done in his lifetime by the young artist at Yasnaya Polyana.

Oleg Tolstoy was Leo Tolstoy‘s great-grandson (descended from the author’s son Ilya). The artist was honest and noble, both in his life and work; this was the main thing he inherited from his great-grandfather. During his entire creative life he admired and was inspired by nature in various parts of Russia – Baikal, the Don, the Kuban regions, the North, and places in the Moscow region. 


Yasnaya Polyana had an important place in the artist’s work. Oleg Tolstoy first came to his ancestor‘s birthplace in 1947, when Sergey Tolstoy was still alive. The artist was amazed by the nature of Yasnaya Polyana, and later he constantly returned there. Here he created many splendid landscapes in different seasons.

The world of Oleg Tolstoy‘s paintings is philosophical and profound. One of the characteristic features of all his works is color, which plays a leading role in his paintings. Oleg Tolstoy continued Savrasov‘s coloristic tradition in Russian landscape painting. The color in his works shines from within the canvas, and the soft color sfumato passes from the paintings to the space and adds a poetical uniqueness to the master’s works.

“Sketches or large canvases, they are not just skillfully done works with a flawlessly captured relationship between terra firma and the boundless sky, but also meditations, discovery of many essences, and immersion into layers of nature,” says Natalia Tolstaya about her father’s works.

Background information:

Oleg Tolstoy (1927-1992) was a painter. Born in the town of Tetovo, Yugoslavia. During World War II served in the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia. In 1956 graduated with distinction from the V.I. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute. Participated in Moscow and national exhibitions, was also exhibited abroad. Member of the Artists’ Union from 1959. In 1989-1990 his personal exhibition was shown at Yasnaya Polyana.

Admission to the estate includes admission to the exhibition.

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