Agin, Aleksandr Alekseevich
Born 1817 in Novorozhev District, Pskov Province; died 1875 in the village of Kachanovka, Chernigov Province. Russian graphic artist and illustrator.
Agin studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts with K. P. Briullov from 1834 to 1839. He illustrated many editions, including works by E. P. Grebenka, 1.1. Panaev, and I. S. Turgenev. His major work is the series of 104 illustrations for N. V. Gogol’s Dead Souls, which he did in 1846–47. E. E. Bernardskii made woodcuts of them; 72 appeared in 1847 and the complete series in 1892. In 1853, Agin, persecuted by censorship, moved to Kiev, where he taught graphic arts and worked in a theater. As V. G. Belinsky pointed out (Poln. sobr. soch., 1955, vol. 9, p. 572), Agin evinces a profound knowledge of Russian life in his illustrations. His art is marked by plasticity, clarity, and wholeness of composition. Socially acute psychological characterizations and accurate portrayals of daily life give Agin’s work an encompassing generality and an accusatory power.