Chuikov, Semen

Chuikov, Semen Afanas’evich


Born Oct. 17 (30), 1902, in Pishpek (now Frunze); died May 19, 1980, in Moscow. Soviet painter. People’s Artist of the USSR (1963); member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1958).

Chuikov studied in Vernyi (now Alma-Ata) with N. G. Khlu-dov and in Moscow at the Vkhutemas Vkhutein (State Higher Arts and Technical Studios-Higher Art and Technical Institute) from 1924 to 1930. In the early 1930’s he organized the Kirghiz Artists’ Union and the Kirghiz Museum of Fine Arts in Frunze. He taught in Moscow at the Academy of Arts from 1930 to 1932 and the V. I. Surikov Art Institute in 1947 and 1948.

Using the traditions of Russian realistic art, Chuikov developed Kirghiz national themes. His genre and landscape paintings depict the life of the people and the natural features of Kirghizia. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, after travels to India, Chuikov included images from that country in his works. His paintings are noted for spatial clarity, compositional strictness and simplicity, and subtle yet expressive color relationships. He conveys the significance of the common man in his small-figured compositions, resolving differently in each work the relationship of the figure to the landscape and to the plane of the canvas. As Chuikov’s style developed, traits of monumentality appeared increasingly. In his last years he frequently used the triptych form.

Examples of his works are the cycles Kirghiz Kolkhoz Suite (1939–48), With Us in Kirghizia (1946–67), and Our Brothers (1952–67). Individual works include Morning (1947, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow), Daughter of Soviet Kirghizia (1948, Tret’iakov Gallery), On the Road (1954, Tret’iakov Gallery), The Himalayas (1954, Tret’iakov Gallery), On an Embankment in Bombay in the Evening (1954, Tret’iakov Gallery), The Shepherd’s Daughter (1956, Tret’iakov Gallery), The Simple People of India (triptych, 1957–60, Russian Museum, Leningrad), Black Madonna (1962, Russian Museum), Living Water (1966, Tret’iakov Gallery), They Want to Live (triptych, 1967, Art Fund of the USSR), and In Touch With Eternity (1973).

Chuikov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1949, 1951), the I. Satylganov State Prize of the Kirghiz SSR (1972), the Order of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals.


Zametki khudozhnika. [Moscow] 1962.
Ital’ianskii dnevnik. [Moscow, 1966].
Obrazy Indii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1976.


Chegodaev, A. S. A. Chuikov. Moscow, 1952.
Zhidkova, E. S. A. Chuikov. Moscow, 1964.
Sarab’ianov, D. Semen Chuikov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1976.