Nikolai Krymov

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krymov, Nikolai Petrovich


Born Apr. 20 (May 2), 1884, in Moscow; died there May 6, 1958. Soviet landscape painter and set designer. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1956); corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1949).

Krymov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from 1904 to 1911. A participant in the Blue Rose exhibition in 1907, he became a member of the Union of Russian Artists in 1910. Krymov taught at Vkhutemas (State Higher Arts and Technical Studios) between 1920 and 1922 and at the 1905 Memorial School of Arts between 1934 and 1939.

From 1905 to 1920, Krymov created generalized compositions, stylized in the spirit of primitive art, that were decorative and brightly colored. These works, initially dynamic in spirit, became harmonious and peaceful. Krymov later designed tapestries and painted classicist landscapes, such as The Storm (1908, Tret’iakov Gallery), The Yellow Barn (1909, Tret’iakov Gallery), and the series The Female Bathers (c. 1915).

Beginning in the early 1920’s, Krymov depicted only the static states of nature. Through a careful analysis of these states, he developed a “system of tone” by which color did not reveal the material form of an object but the degree of its illumination. Striving to integrate the landscape and the figures therein, Krymov achieved an emotional unity of images (for example, The Rivulet, 1926; Morning in Central Park, 1937; and A Summer Day in Tarusa, 1939–40—all in the Tret’iakov Gallery).

Krymov designed sets for the stagings of A. N. Ostrovskii’s Fiery Heart (1926) and Talents and Admirers (1933) and Leonov’s Untilovsk (1928) at the Moscow Art Theater.


Klimova, M. A. N. P. Krymov. Moscow, 1958.
N. P. Krymovkhudozhinik i pedagog: Stat’i, vospominaniia. Moscow, 1960.
Sapego, I. “Chuvstvo ili logika? (Zametki o tvorchestve N. P. Krymova.)” Iskusstvo, 1965, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.