Smirnov, Boris Aleksandrovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Smirnov, Boris Aleksandrovich


Born Mar. 1 (14), 1903, in St. Petersburg. Soviet artist. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1968).

Smirnov studied under I. A. Fomin in the faculty of architecture of the Leningrad Vkhutein (Higher Art and Technical Institute) from 1920 to 1928. He taught at the I. E. Repin Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from 1946 to 1948 and at the V. I. Mukhina Leningrad Higher Industrial Arts School from 1952 to 1963. His students included G. A. Antonova, S. M. Beskinskaia, and A. M. Ostroumov.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Smirnov designed interiors and industrial and public buildings; he also did illustrations. Since 1948 he has specialized in decorative glassware and modern design in optical instruments. He has also arranged exhibitions. Later in his career he began working in ceramics and porcelain. Taking form and function into consideration, Smirnov incorporates pictorial, often topical, decorative elements into the articles he makes.


Khudozhnik o prirode veshchei. Leningrad, 1970.

Smirnov, Boris Aleksandrovich


Born Oct. 13 (26), 1908, in St. Petersburg. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1963).

Smirnov studied at the Leningrad Institute of Stage Arts from 1925 to 1929. From 1929 to 1942 he acted at the Leningrad Theater Studio (from 1939 the Lensovet Theater) under the direction of S. E. Radlov, from 1943 to 1950 at the Leningrad Theater of Comedy, and from 1950 to 1955 at the Pushkin Moscow Theater. Since 1955 he has acted at the Moscow Art Theater.

In the 1930’s, Smirnov was outstanding in the role of Pavka Korchagin in How the Steel Was Tempered, adapted from N. A. Ostrovskii’s novel. His roles in the classical repertoire have included Paratov in A. N. Ostrovskii’s The Girl Without a Dowry, Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the title roles in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and in Chekhov’s Ivanov, Bobylev in Sal-tykov-Shchedrin’s Shadows, and Ivan Karamazov in The Brothers Karamazov, adapted from Dostoevsky’s novel. At the Leningrad Theater of Comedy his roles included Nel’kin in Sukhovo-Kobylin’s Krechinskii’s Wedding and Kovalevskii in Sofia Kovalevskaia (by the Tur Brothers.)

Smirnov attained maturity as an actor at the Moscow Art Theater. He played the role of V. I. Lenin in Pogodin’s The Kremlin Chimes (1956) and Third Pathétique (1958) and in Sha-trov’s The Sixth of July (1965). In these roles, Smirnov displayed a synthesis of intellect, civil spirit, and lofty emotionality, as well as a mastery of the art of the monologue. He also acted the role of Lenin in the films Communist (1958), Personally Known (1958), Appassionato (1963), and In the Name of the Revolution (1964).

A recipient of the Lenin Prize (1959), Smirnov has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Badge of Honor, and several medals.

A. V. KESLER [23–1818–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.