Artist - Russian impressionism museum
Collection

Nikolai Gorlov

07.12.1917 - 23.09.1987

“An exceptional phenomenon” was the verdict of the art school commission when its members saw Gorlov’s graduation work. Later, describing his landscapes, others would highlight their “striking, virtuoso use of colour”. Imagine Gorlov as a fourteen-year-old boy who had just run away from an orphanage and was heading to Moscow - could he ever have expected to become an artist? Once in Moscow, the youngster ended up at the Lyubertsky Labour Colony number 2. He was assigned the job of the drummer in the colony orchestra, and also started attending its art studio. Soon, his teachers began to notice the work of this gifted youth, and twenty of his works, including oil paintings, charcoal, pencil and ink drawings were sent to an exhibition in Moscow. Gorlov’s subjects are simple – homeless children, the local landscapes, a quarry… In 1936, the renowned artist and then-director of the Art Institute Igor Grabar visited the colony; he was so taken with the young artist’s natural talent that he admitted him (without any entrance examinations) as a second-year student. Gorlov began to exhibit in 1936. He worked on his graduation painting under Grabar’s tutelage and called it, in the true spirit of the Russian Revolution, “Taking the Winter Palace” - the graduation commission was absolutely captivated! In recognition of his industrious and devoted work Gorlov was honoured with membership of the Artist’s Union of the USSR.