Aleksei Ilich Kravchenko

Kravchenko, Aleksei Il’ich

 

Born Jan. 30 (Feb. 11), 1889, in the village of Pokrovskaia, in the present-day city of Engel’s, Saratov Oblast; died May 31, 1940, in the settlement of Nikolina Gora, near Zvenigorod, Moscow Oblast. Soviet graphic artist.

Kravchenko studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in 1904 and 1905 and from 1907 to 1910. In 1906 he attended S. Hollösy’s school in Munich. In 1925, Kravchenko became a member of the Four Arts association. He taught at the Moscow Art Institute (professor; 1935–40). During the early years of Soviet power, he participated as an artist in the organization of mass revolutionary festivals in Moscow and Saratov.

Initially a painter and a draftsman, Kravchenko’s work was similar to that of the old masters and to the graphic art of the World of Art association (Mir iskusstva). In 1921 he began to work primarily in the medium of woodcut (he was one of the founders of the Soviet school of woodcut); he also executed line engravings and etchings. Kravchenko’s engravings (including those on the themes of Soviet reality) and illustrations are marked by the romantic emotionality of images, expressiveness of line, and sharp contrasts of dark and light areas. Kravchenko is a master of the minor forms of graphic art (bookplates and colophons). His works include the series Russian Landscape (oil, tempera, and watercolor; 1908–16; Russian Museum in Leningrad and other museums); the series Italy (tempera, watercolor, sanguine, india ink, pen, and pencil; 1910-11 and 1925–26; Tret’-iakov Gallery and other museums); and the series Dneprostroi (woodcut, 1930–31). He also executed woodcut illustrations for Gogol’s The Portrait (published in 1928), Hoffmann’s Master Flea (published in 1929), S. Zweig’s short stories (published in 1934), and the works of Pushkin (published in 1937).

REFERENCES

Razumovskaia, S. V. A. I. Kravchenko. Moscow, 1962.
A. I. Kravchenko, 1889–1940: Zhivopis’—Grafika. [Catalog of an exhibition. Moscow, 1973.]

V. I. RAKITIN