Lansere, Evgenii Evgenevich

Lansere, Evgenii Evgen’evich

 

Born Aug. 23 (Sept. 4), 1875, in Pavlovsk, in present-day Leningrad Oblast; died Sept. 13, 1946, in Moscow. Soviet graphic artist and painter. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1945). Son of E. A. Lansere.

Between 1892 and 1895, Lansere studied at the School of Drawing of the Society for Promotion of the Arts in St. Petersburg. He continued his training at the Colarossi and Julian academies in Paris from 1895 to 1898. Lansere was a member of the World of Art group. He taught at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts (1922–34), the Moscow Architectural Institute, and the All-Russian Academy of Arts in Leningrad (1934–38).

Influenced by A. N. Benois and K. A. Somov, Lansere shared with them a nostalgic, stylizing tendency. During the first two decades of the 20th century, he worked as a designer and illustrator of journals and books. In his graphic works he combined a baroque border or an art nouveau design with accurate depictions of historical scenes in which perspective and three-dimensionality are rendered (for example, the design of the journal Mir iskusstva; the headpieces, vignettes, and tailpieces of N. Kutepov’s Royal…Hunting in Russia, which was published in 1902, and of A. N. Benois’s Tsarskoe selo, which was published in 1910).

Lansere strove to convey in a lively and convincing manner the essence of historical periods, particularly in his drawings (Ships of the Time of Peter the First, tempera, 1911, Tret’iakov Gallery; the politically incisive drawings for revolutionary journals, including Zhupel and Adskaia pochta, 1905–08). This striving also dominates his illustrations for L. N. Tolstoy’s novellas Hadji Murad (1912–41) and The Cossacks (1917–37). Lansere’s illustrations are noted for their interest in folk life and for their precision of line; however, some are executed in a softer, painterly manner, with areas of color breaking down contours.

In Soviet times the realistic tendency of Lansere’s work became more pronounced. Although he continued to do book illustrations, he often turned to monumental decorative art. His monumental decorative works, marked by dynamic spatial construction, a magnificent setting, and overall grandeur, are reminiscent of 17th-and 18th-century ceiling paintings (murals at the Kazan Railroad Station, tempera and silicate pigments, 1933–34 and 1945–46; murals at the Hotel Moscow, tempera, 1937—all in Moscow).

Lansere also painted stage sets (for the stagings of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in 1924 and A. S. Griboedov’s Woe From Wit in 1935—both at the Malyi Theater in Moscow), made posters, and worked in industrial design. The recipient of the State Prize of the USSR in 1943, he was also awarded two orders and several medals.

REFERENCES

E. E. Lansere: Katalog vystavki… Moscow, 1961.
Podobedova, O. I. E. E. Lansere: 1875–1946. Moscow, 1961.

T. I. VOLODINA

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