Immortal feats are reflected on picturesque canvases and are immortalised in bronze
National Art Museum presents Testament to Descendants photo album published on eve of Great Victory celebrations
The heroes of the edition are People’s Artists of Belarus, who fought at the front, feeling first hand the destructive pulse of war. Among them is Andrey Bembel, who created the majestic Mound of Glory near Minsk, and Alexey Glebov, who immortalised in bronze our great ancestor Frantsisk Skorina. Other chapters are dedicated to philosophical artist of epic partisan scenes Victor Gromyko, and the first Soviet artist, Yevgeny Zaitsev (Pavel Maslenikov), who embodied the immortal feat of the heroes of Brest Fortress. The revival of our beautiful Belarusian land after the Victory was his main source of inspiration.
Another hero detailed in the book is Mikhail Savitsky, one of the last defenders of Sevastopol and a Nazi death camp survivor, who never lost heart, later using his dramatic paintings of apocalyptic horror and war heroism to show the world the true face of conflict. Sergey Selikhanov, who helped design the Khatyn Memorial, just outside of Minsk (a world-famous symbol of the tragedy of our unconquered Belarus) has his chapter, as does the author of works of light, love and hope, Leonid Shchemelev.
All these artists fulfilled their military duty to the Motherland and, in times of peace, worked to convey honesty in their paintings, portraying the moral essence of those ‘fatal, leaden, gunpowder’ years through their landscapes, portraits and sculptures. Their legacy, like no other, shows today’s generation how our wounded Belarusian land transformed in the post-war years.
Honoured figure of arts Boris Krepak has written the accompanying text for the book.
In fact, more than 130 Belarusian artists fought in army and partisan units. All received high military awards, among them Hero of the Soviet Union Mikhail Zelenkin, a fighter-pilot. He was one of three frontline soldier-artists across the former USSR to be awarded the Gold Star.
By Vladimir Velikhov