One hundred pictures in one century or Exhibition of Shibnev family’s works

National Art Museum offers unique chance to enjoy artistry of six painters across four generations

By Victor Mikhailov

National Art Museum offers unique chance to enjoy artistry of six painters across four generations


The Shibnev family’s artistic legacy embraces over a hundred years, varying in style but united by a romantic and poetic apprehension of everything seen and appreciated.

National Art Museum offers unique chance to enjoy artistry of six painters across four generations

Damian Shibnev (1881-1930) is the father of the dynasty


картина1.pngHe was born in Ukrainian Mariupol, to a merchant’s family. Damian graduated from the Art College of Odessa’s Society of Fine Arts in 1903 and, in 1910, completed his studies at St. Petersburg’s Higher Art College of the Emperor’s Arts Academy (taught by Ivan Repin). In 1906, he visited Paris to see the works of the Impressionists and, after his studies in St. Petersburg, settled in Crimean Kerch (for health reasons); there, he headed the picture gallery of the archaeological museum, and lectured at a gymnasium.

At present, Damian’s creativity is perceived as a phenomenon of delicate sunset of the classical culture, coloured with tender melancholy. By combining the traces of symbolism, modernism and impressionism, his works are sometimes as if in a dream-like-state, though are rather realistic. The painter was able to see and to depict externally modest moments of life, elevating the mundane to something precious.

Anatoly Shibnev (1907-1990) is Damian Shibnev’s son

Artist Yevgeny Shibnev (centre) at the exhibition openingHe was born in St. Petersburg and studied at Odessa’s Art Institute and, in 1940, graduated from Leningrad’s Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, being sent to work in Brest. From 1944, Anatoly lived and worked in Minsk. He was an Honoured Figure of Arts, with works now kept at the National Art Museum, the Belarusian Union of Artists’ Fund, the Belarusian State Museum of Great Patriotic War History, the Belarusian President’s Residence, regional museums and in private collections (domestically and abroad).

Anatoly Shibnev’s works are models of ‘socialist realism’ with its life-affirming and romantic pathos. Evidently, these peculiarities of the Soviet artistic style echoed the painter’s own world outlook.

Tatiana Razina (1908-1992) was Anatoly Shibnev’s wife

картина3.pngShe was born in Ukraine, to a family of teachers and, in 1935, graduated from Odessa’s Art Institute. Tatiana worked at the Odessa Film Studio and, before the war, was the chief artist of Brest’s Russian Theatre. Later, she worked in Minsk.

Tatiana’s pictures at the exhibition are precise in their expressiveness: landscapes and still-life works perfectly thought out, showing her experience as a set designer. Each object seems to conduct a dialogue, with her canvases having their own inner fable. The composure is almost mathematical in its precision of line and colour, although the soft palette adds the charm of understatement.

Anatoly Shibnev’s son, Yevgeny Shibnev

картина2.pngHe was born in Odessa and studied at Minsk’s Art College and the Belarusian Theatre and Art Institute. His monumental art works (stained glass, metal and interior) are found in public places: museums, cinemas and schools. Meanwhile, Yevgeny’s pictures are kept at the National Art Museum, the Belarusian Union of Artists’ Fund and in private collections.

What can be said about the style of this painter? In his landscapes, the artist loves to depict nature holistically, as part of the wider environment. Comprising various elements, they display contemplative lyricism and spiritual power.

Yevgeny Shibnev’s wife, Nina Golysheva, was born in Russia

he graduated from the Kostroma Art College and the Belarusian Theatre and Art Institute. Among her works are landscapes, portraits and thematic pictures. Meanwhile, still-lifes occupy a special place in her creativity: the abundance of flower motifs, as well as compositional, colouristic and figurative solutions help come closer to the artist’s emotional character. Her ability to reflect sunlit roses, cornflowers, peonies, berries and a host of luxurious wildflowers turn each still-live painting of Nina Golysheva into a true masterpiece of pictorial art.

Alexander — the youngest artist of the Shibnev dynasty

Alexander Shibnev continues his dynasty’s traditions
Alexander Shibnev continues his dynasty’s traditions

картина4.pngYevgeny and Nina’s son graduated from Minsk’s Glebov Art College and has already exhibited in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Moscow. Alexander’s pictures are kept in private collections all over the world. Alexander Shibnev’s works resemble those of his outstanding grandfather: Damian Shibnev. With a detached air, they paradoxically unite monumental elements with meticulous detail, objectivity (our material world) and subjectivity (the world of the artist’s soul). His pictures are full of drama and expression.

This fascinating dynasty is now exhibiting its works at the National Art Museum; its members — across so many generations — are not simply contemporaries of their time but bright chroniclers.
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