German Tatarinov:  The Russian Landscape 

by Sergei Ivanov

German Tatrinov, "Black Water,"
"Black Water," oil on cardboard, 19.7” x 27.6”


In April 1932 Joseph Stalin decreed that all existing literature and arts organizations had to form one unified creative union that dictated all creative output including education. Stalin’s decree marked a clear line in the sand of the revival of art education and a return to realism. In 1924 St. Petersburg’s name was changed to Leningrad, with Stalin's 1932 degree the Leningrad Union of Artists was born. The Leningrad School refers to both the art institution, known today as the Repin Academy, and to the members of the Leningrad Union of Artists during the period of 1932 to the 1990s, which included approximately 1,200 artists. During the 1930s the artists of the Leningrad School painted a variety of subject matter including landscapes and still lifes, as well as paintings of greater social significance. On June 22, 1941, academic life was forever changed for these artists with the attack by Germany on Russia, marking the beginning of World War II. After the war, students quickly returned to the Institute in Leningrad. 

One member of the Leningrad Union of Artists was German Alexeevich Tatarinov (1925-2006), who was born to a peasant family in a rural area of Russia called Old Crosses Village in the Yaroslavl Province. In 1942 Tatarinov was drafted into the Red Army and took part in the battles against Japan. In 1952, Tatarinov graduated from the Leningrad Naval Political School and in 1961 was discharged from military service. At this time he was able to go back to work as an artist in a Leningrad department of Art Fund of Russian Federation. Since 1967, Tatarinov has exhibited his landscapes, still lifes and genre compositions.

German Tatarinov was primarily a landscape painter. His color palette was restrained, based on the relationship of green and ocher tones, based on the work by Russian Impressionists of the 1800s. His composition and style was gravitated toward plein air painting and a full-scale panoramic view. He became a member of the St. Petersburg Union of Artists in 1972. In 2000 Tatarinov was awarded the honorary title of Honored Artist of Russian Federation. Paintings by Tatarinov are in art museums and private collections in Russia, France, USA, Finland, Germany, England, Japan, and throughout the world.

All of German Tatarinov's work pictured in this article is available in our Gallery – click here

German Tatarinov, "In February," 1986 oil on cardboard, 6.3” x 8.7”
In February 1986, oil on cardboard, 6.3” x 8.7”

German Tatarinov, "Evening Clouds," 1971, oil on cardboard, 6.3” x 8.7”
"Evening Clouds," 1971, oil on cardboard, 6.3” x 8.7”

German Tatarinov, "Harvesting," 1970, oil on cardboard, 20” x 27.6”
"Harvesting," 1970, oil on cardboard, 20” x 27.6”

The Book: Unknown Socialist Realism. The Leningrad School

The album contains a substantial collection of works by a large group of painters representing the Leningrad School of Painting. This book is the first inclusive publication on the history of the Leningrad School, one of the brightest and significant phenomena in the Soviet art of 1930-1980 that strongly influenced its contents and development.

The book outlines basic periods of the school's evolution from the period that preceded its formation in the early 1930s up to the early 1990s. Paintings reproduced in the publication belong to large Russian and private collections with some of the works published for the first time. This allows for a renewed and more comprehensive assessment of the art heritage of individual painters and the epoch in general. The publication contains a historical outline, artists' biographies and photographs and an extensive reference section that helps the reader navigate the book materials and provides important historical guidelines. Texts are published in Russian and English. 

Number of pages: 450 pages, 343 color plates
Cover: Hardcover
Language: Russian and English
Size: 12.7" tall x 10" wide



A Few Images in the Book

Unknown Socialist Realism

Unknown Socialist Realism

Unknown Socialist Realism

Unknown Socialist Realism