Nikolai Terpsikhorov: Master of Mother Russia

Nikolai Terpsikhorov: Master of Mother Russia by Vern G. Swanson & Nicole C. Romney The artist with theh funny last name, Terpsikhorov (meaning muse of dance) is well beloved among devotees and connoisseurs of Russian art. Among Soviet era artists whose paintings exhibit both realism and narodnost (the “interests of the people and of the land”), Nikolai Borisovich Terpsikhorov (1890-1960) takes a prominent place. He recieved an art education at the beginning of the twentieth century, before the Bolshevik coup, but matured to become an original master only after the “Great Octover” socialist revolution of 1917. The oeuvre of Terpsikhorov encompasses many subjects including revolutionary, history, and ethnographic and working-class genre paintings, as well as portraits and an abundance of landscapes. In the history of Soviet art, Terpsikhorov arriced mainly as a figurative genre artist and later developed into a landscape painter. Since Terpsikhorov’s career was based on the reflection of Soviet life, his pictures bear a definite stamp of social themes and revolutionary times. Yet, ultimately he is a painter of Russia and its exotic, far flung empire. He is among the truly importatnt Russian artists of his age, and this retrospective exhibition represents a fair spectrum of his body of work. He stands as a master artist of Mother Russia.

Dr. Vern G. Swanson & Nicole C. Romney,, MA have taken M. Sosedova’s original text from her 1953 monograph on the artist and have greatly expended and revised it to produce this volume. THey have brought it up to date with contemporary scholarship and the needs of an exhibition catalogue. Sosedova was a “true believer” socialist writer under the Communist Party banner and her text is riddled with propagandistic Party sentiment. Seen in the light of contemporary historical developments these partisan statements have been modified to reflect pravda (the truth).

Nikolai Terpsikhorov: Master of Mother Russia by B. Sosedova, Dr. Vern G. Swanson & Nicole C. Romney, published by the Springville Museum, is a catalog of the paintings of Nikolai Borisovich Terpsikhorov exhibited at the Springville (Utah) Museum of Art in 2008, large format, 103 pages with biography, 91 color plates and catalogue raisonne.

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