Isupov Aleksei

A boy with a kitten 143х88 сm, oil on canvas
About work

The picture “A boy with a kitten” presented in the collection is full of the feeling of warmness and tenderness. This picture is done in a free, bold artful manner; it has a characteristic color range of the artist. The boy holds the kitten close to him, like a scared child holding onto his toy. Trying his very best to recreate the shabby patched clothes of the child and the surroundings, A. Isupov portraits the features of naturalism but avoids dry artistic language. Various details of clothes which were vividly depicted in even the smallest detail give rise to the feeling of deep sympathy and affection.
The work “A boy with a kitten” makes the viewer go back into the romantic world of childhood.

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Isupov Aleksej Vladimirovich
(1889, Vyatka – 1957, Rome)

Isupov Aleksej Vladimirovich is a painter and graphic artist who worked in various genres, starting from portraits and ending with animalism. Working in Russia, the artist was close to the impressionists, later – the masters of “Jack of Diamonds”, and while being abroad he kept to the modern style.

Isupov was born in the town of Vyatka, Russia. He was the son of a woodcarver and a trainee of an icon master; in 1908, he went to Moscow and entered the Moscow school of art, sculpture and architecture. Among the tutors of Aleksej Isupov, there were such famous and wonderful artists as A. E. Arkhipov, A. M. Vasnetsov, K. A. Korovin, V. A. Serov who facilitated the development of extraordinary talent of the young man. At the 41st exhibition of the Association of Itinerants which took place in 1912, the pictures of A. Isupov “Taganaj in Clouds”, “Small Taganaj”, “Cliffs”, “Forest Lake” painted in Zlatoust were exhibited.

The First World War broke the natural pace of establishment of the young artist who graduated by that time (1913) and took an active part in various exhibitions. In 1914, Aleksej Isupov was called up for military service, not in the active army but in the reserve regiment. He passed his military service in Turkestan. With the establishment of the Soviet power in the Middle Asia, the artist was forced to make his bread by illustrating books and even by teaching in the Tashkent art school (1918-1921). Among his students, there were N. Karakhan, M. Kupriyanov, S. Chuikov. Being in Samarkand, the artist copied mosaic pictures and panels according to the orders of the commission which took care of the monuments of history and culture, he transferred the samples of local architecture on paper. At the same time, a new page was started in the creative life of the master. Traditions, domestic households, the nature of that country inspired Aleksej Isupov for quite a long time. He painted a series of the most wonderful local landscapes and household compositions: “Uzbeks in Tea-House”, “Madrissa”, “Samarkand” etc.

Isupov returned to Moscow in 1921. He married the daughter of an Orenburg merchant, Tamara Nikolaevna Ivanova. But a serious illness forced the artist to leave Russia again and settle down in Italia in 1925, where he quickly gained acknowledgement and obtained European fame thanks to his pictures which were inspired by Italy. The artist signed his pictures with his alias – Alessio Issupoff. The first personal exhibition of his works took place in Rome just one year after his arrival. The pictures of Aleksej Isupov became a “revelation for Rome”, as the reporters wrote at that time, he was called an “exciting artist”. Soon, the master purchased his own villa, a wonderful workshop in the very heart of Rome, but even while being in Italy, he still continued painting Russian landscapes, participating in the Soviet exhibitions abroad, maintaining close communication with his compatriots. The correspondence with his mentor Apollinaryi Vasnetsov meant a lot for him. And when various activists of the Soviet culture visited Rome, namely, A. Gorkyi, S. Konenkov, the Koryn brothers, A. Gerasimov, Isupov did not waste the happy opportunity to talk to them.

During the Second World War, the master took an active part in the movement of the Italian Resistance. It is known that during the Second World War the artist gave shelter to some soldiers of the Red Army who escaped captivity, in his house.
The pictures of A. Isupov were exhibited at various exhibitions: in New York (1924), Rome (1928, 1933, 1945), Triesta (1935), Turine (1937), Kirov (1971), Moscow (1973), Tashkent (1977).

In July 1957, the life of Aleksej Vladimirovich Isupov ended. According to his will, a part of his works was transferred from the workshop in Rome to the State Tretiakovskaya Gallery as a gift. Other pictures are stored in Kirov regional art museum, Tula art museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, the gallery of Modern Art in Milano, the Gallery Uffici in Florence etc.

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