Simov, Viktor Andreevich
Born Apr. 2(14), 1858, in Moscow; died there Aug. 21, 1935. Soviet set designer. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1932).
In 1882, Simov graduated from the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, where he studied under V. G. Perov, I. M. Prianishnikov, and A. K. Savrasov. He was affiliated with the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers,” a progressive art movement) and displayed his works in several of their exhibitions (1883, 1891, and 1893). Beginning in 1898, he worked primarily at the Moscow Art Theater, except for the period between 1912 and 1925.
Simov designed his sets to suit the intentions of the stage director. In order to make a play socially and psychologically believable, he favored the realistic depiction of the details of everyday life. Rejecting traditional wings and proscenium arches, Simov used the stage in an inventive way, displaying unusual cross sections of rooms and views of entire apartments. He designed sets for several plays, including A. K. Tolstoy’s Tsar Fedor Ioannovich (1898), Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (1899), The Three Sisters (1901), and The Cherry Orchard (1904), Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1902), Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (1903), L. N. Tolstoy’s The Living Corpse (1911), Ivanov’s Armored Train 14-69 (1927), and Dead Souls (1932), after the novel by Gogol. He also designed sets for the motion picture Collegiate Registrar (1925).