Laktionov, Aleksandr Ivanovich
Born May 16 (29), 1910, in Rostov-on-Don; died Mar. 3, 1972, in Moscow. Soviet painter and graphic artist. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1969); member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1958).
Laktionov studied under I. I. Brodskii at the Academy of Arts in Leningrad from 1932 to 1938. He taught at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in Leningrad from 1936 to 1944 and at the Moscow Correspondence Pedagogical Institute from 1967 to 1970. He became a professor at the latter institute in 1968. Laktionov primarily executed genre paintings and portraits. His painting Letter From the Front (1947, Tret’iakov Gallery; State Prize of the USSR, 1948) is particularly well known. In this work the artist conveys the experiences of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.
Laktionov was noted for his mastery and precision in drawing. He had the rare ability to convey accurately and concisely the appearance of the real world. However, in a number of works, this facility prevented him from penetrating the essence of what he portrayed. His works include Portrait of V. I. Kachalov (charcoal, 1940, Tret’iakov Gallery), Self portrait (1945, Tret’iakov Gallery), Portrait of Cosmonaut V. M. Komarov (1967, Tret’iakov Gallery), Moving Into a New Apartment (1952, Donets Art Museum), and Secure Old Age (1958–60). A recipient of the I. E. Repin State Prize of the RSFSR in 1971, Laktionov was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and several medals.