Samokish, Nikolai Semenovich
Born Oct. 13 (25), 1860, in Nezhin; died Jan. 18, 1944, in Simferopol’. Soviet painter and graphic artist who specialized in battle scenes. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1937).
Samokish audited courses at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1878 and was a matriculated student there from 1879 to 1885. He received a stipend to study in Paris from 1886 to 1889. He taught at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1912 and served as professor and director of the academy’s battle-scene class from 1913 to 1918. His students included M. I. Avilov, P. I. Kotov, and G. K. Savitskii. Samokish became a member of the academy in 1913. In 1923 he joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia.
Samokish built upon the traditions of Russian battle painting of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the modern period he based numerous paintings on the heroic feats of the Red Army during the Civil War of 1918–20 (The Crossing of the Si-vash by the Red Army, 1935, Simferopol’ Art Museum; State Prize of the USSR, 1941) and on the history of the Ukrainian people. Samokish also worked in the animal genre and illustrated books. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.