Voices from Russia

Monday, 19 April 2010

Dmitri Anatolyevich Belyukin… Russian Artist Extraordinaire

Dmitri Anatolyevich Belyukin (1962- ), People’s Artist of Russia, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Fine Arts, standing in front of his painting Mother Russia: Yaroslavl at the exhibition Тихая моя Родина (The Stillness of My Motherland).

______________________________

Editor’s Foreword:

Normally, such a piece would go on my companion site, Art and Faith. In this case, however, it’is here because Mr Belyukin is one of the leading private citizens of Russia, and he is, in my opinion, the greatest Russian artist of our time… so, I believe that you should know him. Please, go to my other site, Art and Faith (there’s a link on the blogroll), and type “Dmitri Belyukin” into the search box… you’ll see over a hundred works by this great man and painter (the series The Wounded of Afghanistan or the Yevgeni Onegin cycle are not up yet… they shall, shortly). In addition, type in “Ilya Glazunov” and “Tkachyov” and you’ll see the work of his teachers… Mr Belyukin is the worthy disciple of Ilya Glazunov and the Tkachyovs… just as they learnt from Pavel Korin and Robert Falk… as they, in their turn, learnt from Mikhail Nesterov and Viktor Vasnetsov.

Here’s what a real Orthodox Christian is like…

******

We can say that Art is a movement of spirituality towards salvation, it brings the beauty of God’s world to people, it shows us Mother Nature, it reveals the grandeur of history and culture, it comforts and uplifts…

Classical art requires people who perceive the harmony of the world established by God’s creativity. To approach that harmony is the main thrust of my work. There are moments when the canvas is more successful than one intended it, when the hand guides the brush, and the painting starts to come to life all of a sudden… this is consummate ecstasy; this is inspiration; it shows that the artist has chosen the right path.

Dmitri Anatolyevich Belyukin

People’s Artist of Russia

Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts

******

Born: 1962

Moscow, Moscow Oblast

Dmitri Anatolyevich Belyukin was born in Moscow in 1962; he’s the son of the famous painter and book illustrator Anatoly Ivanovich Belyukin. After finishing his secondary education at the MSKhSh Surikov in 1980, he entered the Moscow “Surikov” State Art Institute in the Easel Painting Faculty, specialising in Portraiture under the direction of Professor Ilya Glazunov. In 1986, Dmitri Antalolyevich presented his diploma painting, The Death of Pushkin, and, then, did his military service in the Soviet VVS (Military Air Force). In 1987 and 1988, he worked at the atelier of pictorial arts of the Art Fund of the RSFSR. Beginning in 1988, he became a member of the Union of Artists of Russia and the Moscow Artists Union. He studied at the art studio of painting at the USSR Academy of Arts under the direction of Active Members of the Academy of Arts of the USSR Aleksei Tkachyov and Sergei Tkachyov). Since 1999, and, currently, he works at the M B Grekov Military Artists Studio. Since 2004, he’s been a Member of the Creative Union of Russian Artists, a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, and a Corresponding Member of Russian Academy of Fine Arts. Dmitri Anatolyevich works in the tradition of the classical Russian school of painting, and is active in showing his works at exhibitions. In 2009, he was awarded the За веру и верность (For Faith and Loyalty) Award of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation and the National Prize “Person of the Year for 2009”.

******

______________________________

An Interview with Dmitri Anatolyevich

Natalia Laidinen

Dmitri, the majority of your colleagues prefer to exhibit in Moscow, to be able to attract an affluent audience, and, consequently, sell their works. Why do we see your exhibitions more frequently in the regions than in the capital?

Dmitri Belyukin

I don’t hold my exhibitions for commercial purposes. I believe that the main task of the artist isn’t just to create and sell paintings, but also to preserve them to show them to others, to reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings to their audience. The project for my travelling exhibition was created at the initiative of the Presidential Plenipotentiary for the Central Federal District Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavchenko in 2005. The idea wasn’t only to revive the forgotten tradition of the Peredvizhniki {Wanderers, an influential current in late 19th century Russian art: editor} but to try to fill the spiritual vacuum in the Russian hinterland to some extent or other. I could feel the wonder and delight that my works caused during their visits to many Russian cities in the Central and Volga districts. I didn’t expect that interest in my works would lead to more than half-a-million visitors viewing my paintings with appreciation. People in the Russian regions still love realism in art, they’re accustomed to it, and want it… this was a real discovery for me! For example, in Ryazan, I was very pleased to meet the students of the VDV officer’s school… these young people really were keenly interested in history; they asked me many questions. In Saransk, I was glad to talk with the students of art schools, whole classes of whom came to the exhibition. I noticed that many people came to the exhibition halls several times, both to listen to the lectures and to look at the paintings. In Kursk, people told me about an old woman who sat for hours in front of one of the canvases, plunging into the heart of the picture, enlivening it with her own memories. In Belgorod Oblast, Bishop Ioann, together with the Centre for National Glory, bought a portion of the tickets and blessed his parishioners to visit the exhibition free of charge as an edifying exercise. It was a real pilgrimage to see the exhibition, for the weather was bone-chilling freezing then! People, wherever they may be, are still attracted to the beautiful. Oh, to see this… it’s such joy for an artist.

******

Sundrenched Clouds

Dmitri Belyukin

2003

______________________________

Natalia Laidinen

Is the perception of painting by the provincial public the same as it is in the capital?

Dmitri Belyukin

Well, I find that there are always many visitors to my exhibitions, both in Moscow and in the regions. I’m very glad that many people are still “spectators” and not just “buyers”. The viewer can enjoy the art in the exhibition halls, not mooning over the fact that these pictures aren’t hanging in his holiday home. I think that the Moscow public is more spoiled, for there are a large number of high-profile exhibitions in the capital each month. In small provincial towns, on the contrary, the audience is more open and heartfelt; it perceives the subtle harmony of the world as realistic art portrays it. Moreover, major exhibitions in the provinces are now a great rarity. I am equally pleased to meet with my Moscow public and to meet with those who come to my exhibitions in the regions.

Natalia Laidinen

Тихая моя Родина (The Stillness of My Motherland) is a distinctive and multifaceted exhibition. What’s the basic idea combining these different thematic landscapes, portraits, graphics, and aquarelles?

Dmitri Belyukin

The exhibition should be interesting for the spectator, so it must have many facets. I always try to show works of art from different phases of my career so that each viewer could see it in an individual way in a close and intimate fashion. One of the most important genres in my oeuvre is historical painting; such works always enjoy great attention from the audience. In the historical cycle, I present a picture of the Civil War, White Russia in Exile, canvasses about the era of Catherine the Great, the times of the Russian-Turkish wars. In addition, I wanted to show the viewer Orthodox holy places from Sinai and Jerusalem to Mount Athos and the Pskovo-Pechersk Lavra… A completely different theme is a series entitled The Wounded of Afghanistan. In the 1980s, I drew the guys who returned maimed from that war. At first, the authorities thought that it was anti-Soviet, but later I received the Lenin Komsomol Prize for them. Pushkin was another important topic for me. In the museum on Poklonnaya Gora, I presented landscapes from Mikhailovskoe and Trigorskoe, as well as a series of colour illustrations (aquarelle and tempera) for the novel Yevgeni Onegin. In this book published with my illustrations, which is now hard to find, I remembered the “crazy” words that Belinsky addressed. As Onegin was an “Encyclopaedia of Russian life” of its time, and as I love the artists of the the past centuries, I tried to portray the contemporary life of St Petersburg, Moscow, and the provinces of that time accurately and encyclopaedically. For me, Pushkin’s epoch is very dear and beloved. Sometimes, I regret that I wasn’t born then…

******

An unidentified bishop speaking at the opening of the exhibition Тихая моя Родина (The Stillness of My Motherland).

______________________________

Natalia Laidinen

What does Тихая моя Родина mean to you?

Dmitri Belyukin

It was a line form a poem by Nikolai Rubtsov that gave its name to the exhibition, for me, one of the meanings of the Motherland is a nostalgic sadness for the defunct Russian village, but it’s not only that. For me, the homeland means so much more… it’s the unforgettable and historical accomplishments of the past, the magnificent victories, and the iconic figures of various epochs. One of the objectives of the exhibition is to draw attention to the great but problematic Russian past. My Motherland is “still” because even though it was a great power, it never shouted out its achievements, it didn’t advertise them. Russian people from time immemorial lived in “stillness”, humbly, silently, and courageously overcoming all the tests that fell upon them… the war, strife, invasion, revolution, coup d’états, crises …

Natalia Laidinen

They say you have a special method when you work on historical pictures…

******

An Étude for “White Russia in Exile”

Dmitri Belyukin

1991

______________________________

Dmitri Belyukin

I didn’t do anything novel; I just creatively developed the artistic methods of my predecessors. All the European Academies of Arts always considered historical painting a worthy field of endeavour. If you’re to paint any historic canvas, you must be very thorough when you collect any information. According to my usual practise, I do preliminary sketches and take my time figuring out the composition. As a result, I spent many hours doing research in archives, museums, and libraries. By the way, it’s really a lot of fun! Whilst I collected materials for my artwork, I learned many new and interesting facts. For example, I discovered that they used Venetian gondolas on the Neva in the second half of the 18th century… During my decades of creative work, I have collected a vast personal archive of my favourite eras, which I update constantly! In historical paintings, my personal style is to hone the various characters using preliminary sketches or drawings. For example, for one of my major paintings, White Russia in Exile, there were more than three hundred such études. In 1995, the TsDKh had my first “exhibition of one painting”, where I presented these works. The same applies to the subject of Pushkin… I did a lot of research and sketches…

Natalia Laidinen

How did you become interested in doing works on the theme of Pushkin?

******

The Death of Pushkin

Dmitri Belyukin

1986

Dmitri Anatolyevich’s diploma piece

______________________________

Dmitri Belyukin

Aleksandr Sergeyevich was always my favourite poet. Indeed, I’ve committed many of his poems to memory. The idea of a series of works based on Pushkin’s writings came to me suddenly during a visit to his museum-apartment on the Moika during my first year as a student. In the morning, in the museum library, it suddenly came alive for me… I began to see how it could be for these people; it was as if I was transported to the nineteenth century! At times, my soul was overwhelmed with a mystical awe! I executed the first version of the picture, then, a second, but something still did not suit me in the composition. Then, I realised that to tackle such a work I should prepare myself as though I were storming a fortress… if the first assault failed, I should steel myself to withstand a long siege. I went back to meticulously study the original sources, look at the materials on the life of the poet, and to work on études. Several years later, my hard work paid off, and The Death of Pushkin appeared, this was my diploma thesis work in studio portraiture under Ilya Glazunov.

Natalia Laidinen

Five of your pictures from the “Pushkin” series make up the series of Walking Along the Alley in the Grove. You’ve gone to Mikhailovskoe?

Dmitri Belyukin

Yes, I’ve been to both Mikhailovskoe and Trigorskoe many times over the years. These places are such that it takes more than one day to see and understand them… it takes time! During my student years, I did my first études at Mikhailovskoe. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with these places! When you walk where Pushkin did, naturally, his poetry comes into your mind; you feel Pushkin’s grandeur, it inspires you… his life, this place! I am glad that I was friends with Semyon Stepanovich Geychenko, the curator of the Pushkin Museum. For all his seeming gravity, he warmed to me, and looked after me like his own son. He told me many stories from the life of the poet; he introduced me to the personal archive of Pushkin. He also became the first to view much of my work dedicated to the great poet, he gave some of it constructive criticism, whilst he praised others. He approved my idea of “settling” Larin in Trigorskoe. At Mikhailovskoe, I could have access to experts who dedicated their whole life to Pushkin. Time and again, the alleys, rivers, lakes, and the neighbourhood surrounding Trigorskoe prompted new themes and perspectives for my canvasses. I see that I received a generous gift of fate… a chance not to have to force pictures out through laborious effort, rather, I could see and feel them in a very special way! For five years of my life, I worked on the illustrations for Yevgeni Onegin, yes, it was so important get all the little things right, but it was more important for me to portray the atmosphere and spirit of that era, to convey its underlying essence!

Natalia Laidinen

Can we expect anything new from you in the way of Pushkiniana?

Dmitri Belyukin

Without a doubt! I plan to start work on a new “Pushkin” cycle! Part of that is to develop a series on the theme, Walking Through the Alley in the Grove. Linden trees planted by Gannibal have miraculously survived up to our days; they keep the secrets of the meetings of the poet and his muse Anna Petrovna. These “portraits” of trees, made at different times of the year, are, in my mind, portraits of contemporaries of Aleksandr Sergeyevich. In future, I plan to execute paintings that’ll reveal images of Osip Gannibal planting trees, to show the visits of Pushkin with Anna Kern on moonlit nights, as well as to show the tragic moments of its history, such as the burning of the estate by the Bolsheviks, the German occupation during the Great Patriotic War… for me, Pushkin is an inexhaustible creative theme, one that has inspired me for many years. Think about the boldness of Aleksandr Sergeyevich when he suggested that he would “reset the ship of modernity”. ”The ‘Poet’… he’s of no use to ordinary folks!” For me, in this leitmotif of a poem, Pushkin very clearly defined the credo and mission of any creative artist. The poem is quite harsh, but fair… it is the whole truth about the difficult path of the artist and about the essential meaning of his life…

Natalia Laidinen

In your opinion, what’s the mission and meaning of an artist’s life?

******

______________________________

Dmitri Belyukin

Don’t seek awards, don’t sell out, don’t live from hand-to-mouth, all of this is in Pushkin! Here’s another important quote from him, “Service to the Muses doesn’t tolerate ‘busyness’”. A painter must work hard every day labouring at his art. Many of my colleagues show superficial and sloppily executed works in their exhibitions. I don’t accept this approach to creativity. Necessarily, you must develop a picture as a whole; you must complete it with discrimination and taste. You must respect your audience; they should be able to inspect your work both from a distance and from up close. This is mystical; it’s inscrutable, really, when paint placed on canvas suddenly appears as fog, snow, twilight, sunsets, and sunrises…

Natalia Laidinen

Could art bring viewers to spirituality?

Dmitri Belyukin

Of course! When I look at what is happening in Russia, it gives me nothing but pain and sorrow, it seems to me that we have not yet reached the bottom of our moral decline. What is of particular concern to me is the situation in our educational system. All too often, the press plays a completely subversive role, the ads on the telly sicken me, indeed, all the stuff broadcast over the tube depresses me. Now and then, I have thought that our degradation could possibly lead to a genuine public emergency… I have no doubt that Orthodoxy remains the only enduring basis for a strong Russia, it’s our backbone, it keeps us from disintegration, it is an eternal and indestructible reminder of the need to live according to the commandments. We can say that Art is a movement of spirituality towards salvation, it brings the beauty of God’s world to people, it shows us Mother Nature, it reveals the grandeur of history and culture, it comforts and uplifts…

******

Dmitri Anatolyevich at the Radonezh Orthodox Gymnazia in Moscow

Fr A Darashevich, after giving the invocation, said, “Encounter with real art is a revelation. You understand that you’re in a special world. I appreciate the creativity of the artist; it’s a joy to view his paintings on the walls of your wonderful school. This is, without exaggeration, a miracle. They are like a fulcrum, for they not only reflect the world around us, they seem to catch a glimpse of a window into another world, one still unknown to us. They breathe purity, joy, yes, even the grace of God. How do you manage to create such a world from mere colour and brushstrokes? This is also a miracle. Evidently, the soul itself felt this and asked the Lord to give it the possibility to convey this sense to others… in this, we are with you”.

E  K Nikiforov asked Mr Belyukin, “What are the criteria for a genuine work of art?”

Dmitri Anatolyevich replied, “I think one of the main standards in art is whether it is time-tested and based on the history of our national roots. It should also carry the spirit of faith. Today, some are trying to force an alien mass culture hostile to Russia upon us. We aren’t here today to discuss that baleful spirit, let’s not even broach the topic. We’re sitting here with you under the icons, with a priest, so we know that the foundation of our culture is Orthodoxy. By the way, who can name any of the works by Surikov?”

******

00 Viktor Vasnetsov. Three Bogatyrs. 1898.

Three Bogatyri

Viktor Vasnetsov

1898

One of the paintings referenced below.

______________________________

Not immediately, but through discussions and consultations with teachers, the students managed to remember Boyarinya Morozova, and The Morning of the Execution of the Steltsy. However, they did clearly remember the painting Three Bogatyri by Viktor Vasnetsov and they came to the conclusion that what made these paintings masterpieces was that they told true stories, and that Orthodox artists of world-class talent executed them. The students wondered how he came up with the concepts that he embodied in images, and how he went about painting them. In turn, Dmitri Anatolyevich asked them what they had read, how well they knew Pushkin, and whether they had visited Mikhailovskoe or Borodino. At this point, the conversation turned from literature and painting and it segued into one about history.

******

______________________________

Dmitri Anatolyevich asked, “Did you know that Prince Aleksandr Nevsky had a dilemma? He could go to war against the Horde or against the enemies from the West. Why do you think that he chose to face the latter threat?” The students replied, “Because they wanted to force Russia to convert to their faith!” Dmitri Anatolyevich replied, “The answer’s correct, harsh as it is. That is, the Tatars were content with tribute, they didn’t infringe upon the Faith, and they didn’t notice that Igumen Sergei of Radonezh had started to stir up the depths of the Russian land. The Westerners, on the other hand, wanted to bring their crusades to Russia, which, in many respects, the current popes carry out both covertly and openly. Therefore, it’s even more necessary for all of us to protect Orthodoxy as the mainstay and foundation of the unity of the nation”.

In a conversation with Dmitri Anatolyevich, someone asked him why, in view of his many exhibitions, he considered it important to attend this affair, in a small gymnasium on the outskirts of Moscow. He replied, “You’re right, my solo exhibition, about two hundred pictures, continues its tour of the cities of the Central Federal District. It’s been in Tambov, Lipetsk, Oryol, and Kursk, and I just returned from its opening in Belgorod. At the same time, I’m happy that there are such schools as the Radonezh Orthodox Gymnazia, where talented children have loving and highly professional teachers, where education is inseparable from Orthodoxy, therefore, I responded to your invitation, the more so that such a meeting fit into the framework of my exhibition calendar. This travelling show was the idea of G S Poltavchenko (Presidential Plenipotentiary to the TsFO). We held similar lectures and meetings in many of these cities. For example, in Tambov, the children from their art school impressed me; they were knowledgeable and well read, in other words, one couldn’t call them ‘provincial’. I also met students from various technical institutes at my exhibitions. They were still teenagers, yet, they already showed such a moral deafness, frank cynicism, and their only reaction to it all was, ‘Well, uncle, that’s nicely drawn… how much can you sell it for?’ There was such indifference in their eyes! Still, I managed to shift the focal point of the conversation; I managed to interest them in Onegin, a kind of punk rocker for that time. That’s so; he followed all the avant-garde fashion and attitudes, to use contemporary language. Then, they began to listen, maybe, something sank into their souls”.

Someone asked, “Did you waste any time in developing your talent? After all, your father was the famous graphic artist Anatoly Belyukin; did he bring you up from childhood to be an artist?” In reply, Dmitri Anatolyevich said, “I’m afraid that the events of our lives are irreversible. However, we know that it is better to start late in life, rather than never start at all. Really, who knows what my choice would have been if not for my father? No. He didn’t prepare me form the first to be an ‘artist’, rather, from infancy he taught to see that beauty’s everywhere, in all of everyday life. He showed me the beauty of dawn, when we went fishing. He said to me, ‘Look at how the light is reflected on the water, draw your attention to the texture of the bark on the trees’. From the age of four, I holidayed in the small village of Terekhovo in the Valdai, which I, a native Muscovite, think of as my second home. I was lucky enough to have nocturnal horse rides; I saw the blossoming flax and the Trinity round dances, which are rare even for rural children to see nowadays. Our house was full of books on art, Russian icons, and folk costume. You can see that my formal art school training in Moscow was an organic continuation of my interest in painting and graphics. However, anyone can go to class and master techniques… not just anyone, not even some ‘professionals’, can learn to notice the beauty in the ordinary”.

******

The Pond at Trigorskoe

Dmitri Belyukin

1995

______________________________

Then, a person in the audience asked if he was “obsessed” with Pushkin. Dmitri Anatolyevich said, “Yes, it really is an incurable disease, but it’s a lot of fun. When I was a freshman at the Surikov Institute in the portrait class, we had a practise session in the Hermitage. I walked through the city during the time of the ‘white nights’, it still seemed to keep the image of the former times of Pushkin and Dostoevsky. For the second month, we lived in Tsarskoe Selo, that’s where I gathered the material and impressions for the painting Pushkin at the Examination in the Lyceum. Now, I understand that we were there not so much to complete a given task; rather, the essence of it was that we found out that there is something special there. Actually, I found out so much that I haven’t yet exhausted the stockpile I accumulated there. Two years later, I visited Mikhailovskoe, and that hooked me completely. Now, this is my native soil, I’ve been there for a long time. The old and crusty curator, S S Geychenko (he was director there from the ‘40s to the ‘80s), seemed to warm up to me, even though I was only a youngster at the time. He was a curmudgeonly old buzzard and complained all the time about us inexperienced students. In my opinion, I think that he judged us not so much for our creativity; rather, he gauged us by our devotion to the cause of Pushkin. Let me share this anecdote about him, when he finally agreed to pose for a sketch. Nevertheless, I didn’t complete the étude, and, the next morning, I didn’t find it, and lamented for a long time that someone had taken it out of my sketchbook. He took everything stoically and invited me to have a glass of tea. Then, I raised my eyes, and I saw… my unfinished étude already framed! He just laughed, but the work has remained in my family. By the way, Semyon Stepanovich blessed the idea that we ‘settle’ the characters of the poem Yevgeni Onegin at Mikhailovskoe and Trigorskoe. That’s not far-fetched, for Pushkin claimed that, in its rural chapters, he portrayed his life in the countryside. My illustrations are a part of the latest edition, which came out in 2003, released by the publishing house Андреевский флаг (St Andrew’s Flag)”.

At this point, someone asked, “Is this subject finished for you?” Dmitri Anatolyevich went on to say, “No, I’m still working on the idea of An Alley in the Grove. Do you remember those 200-year-old lindens, which, in turn, remembered Pushkin and his guests? I’ll paint their portraits… large canvases rendered with care, because they, too, aren’t immortal, so that we can keep their memory. I’ll portray them at different times of the year. I’ve already done five works; I’ll present this series at the April show at the Academy of Fine Arts. They’re not just trees, but a kind of artefact, because they’re the only things that survived after the destruction of the estate after the Bolshevik coup d’état. An acquaintance of mine defended his thesis on the history of country estates and he almost became a dissident in his day. After all, a whole movement dedicated itself to the destruction of homesteads as a reservoir of Russian culture. The Chekisti followed their orders to systematically burn out the peasantry, and the authorities rewarded them for fulfilling the plan. Mikhailovskoe wasn’t destroyed, partly due to the German occupation in World War II; it’s all newly restored from the ruins. Thus, An Alley in the Grove and more besides…”

******

The Entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord

Dmitri Belyukin

2003

______________________________

Another questioner asked, “What about your works on the theme of ‘Holy Places of Orthodoxy?’Dmitri Anatolyevich explained, “I did a great deal on this theme before I formally became a member of the Church, I travelled a lot to the Russian North, and that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. Valaam and Solovki… these are burned into my memory. Then, I was able to visit the Greek islands. Their churches, holy places, and icons were written about by St Luke… all this is a feast for a spirit of an impressionable nature! I did my best to embody these experiences in my paintings and graphics. Moreover, on the Holy Mountain, on Athos, I stayed for nearly three weeks, in the winter, when the unceasing prayer has a visible expression, so to speak. Imagine sailing along the coast and over the monasteries a cold mist rises everywhere… the brethren are before God, labouring, engaged in spiritual warfare. I embodied this in a series of works. The Holy Land is in a class all by itself. I’m happy that I was there, too, and that I now know Jerusalem in detail. Moreover, the longer you stay there, the more the number of themes and ideas that come to you. Truly, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord is a city within a city. It is a sacred, mysterious (таинственное), and mournful place, so it’s an inexhaustible source of ideas. Russia has lost virtually all that our rulers had placed there… just imagine… the bells in the belfries of the Greek churches are the only thing that blocks the heart-rending cry of tape-recorded mullahs. Glory to God, they still ring out, people should praise God and ask Him to return to us our possessions, and that a bell cast through the zeal of a Russian merchant would, once again, have “Russian citizenship”… However, the ways of God’s Providence are unknown, and, indeed, inscrutable. I’ve painted the Church of St Mary Magdalene in a series entitled Jerusalem, a cycle of views of the old town. This church belongs to a convent of the ROCOR; Mother Elizabeth, one of its sisterhood, paints aquarelles, and I helped to organise an exhibition of her work here in Moscow. Then, with the blessing of the Holy Synod of the ROCOR, the holy relics of Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna and Nun Varvara, which are kept here, visited Russia. I had the privilege, along with Fr Michael from Boston, of accompanying the relics all over Russia. Such grace… it’s given me many blessings, I’ve seen not only Jerusalem, but also the Far East {that is, the Pacific coast of Siberia: editor}, a place that I thought I’d never see, it was unreal. It, too, has become one of my themes; I hope it isn’t the last one in my series of “Holy Places of Orthodoxy”.

******

______________________________

Titles and Awards:

  • 1987: Silver Medal USSR Ministry of Culture for his diploma painting The Death of Pushkin. Gold Medal of the USSR VDNKh (now VVTs) for A Portrait of A T Palshina.
  • 1989: Laureate of Lenin Komsomol Prize in the field of culture for a graphic arts series entitled The Wounded of Afghanistan.
  • 1997: Honorary Member of the Pushkin Academy
  • 1999: Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation. Honorary Member of the Foundation of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called
  • 2002: Corresponding Member of the Petrovsk Academy of Arts and Sciences. Honorary Diploma of the jury “Book of the Year” (nominated for Artist-Illustrator) at the 15th Moscow International Book Exhibition. Commemorative Award and Medal “200 years of the Ministry of Defence”. Medal “In memory of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow”
  • 2005: People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. RF Ministry of Defence Medal “For Valorous Labour”.
  • 2007: Order of Prince St Aleksandr Nevsky, Second Degree, “For Sacrificial Service”
  • 2008: Jubilee Award “225th Anniversary of the Black Sea Fleet”
  • 2009: Winner of the International Prize of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation, “For Faith and Loyalty”. Winner of the National Prize “Person of the Year for 2009”.

http://www.belukin.ru/index.php?op=about%20painter

http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/2974093/post120846608/

http://spasibo.viperson.ru/wind.php?ID=558384

http://gymnasiaradonezh.org/about/history/belyukin/lesson/

Editor’s Afterword:

Lately, one Rod Dreher, one of the loudmouthed konvertsy, has raised a brouhaha. Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all of my Roman Catholic readers for his indecent behaviour. Honest opposition is one thing… to use the sad events in one confession or another to smash others in an “ecumenical” venue is beyond the pale. I bow before you and ask your pardon (especially when the person involved only recently converted from the confession that he attacks… sheesh, that’s LOW). That’s why I’ve translated this piece. If Rod Dreher (and all like him… Jonas Paffhausen, Frederica Matthewes-Greene, Patrick Henry Reardon, Joseph Honeycutt, John Behr, et al) isn’t a legitimate example of an Orthodox Christian, then, pray tell, who is? Read these words of Dmitri Belyukin, and look at his art… look at the art of his teachers… and of their teachers as well (especially Pavel Korin’s A Farewell to Rus). One Dmitri Belyukin is worth more than all the posturing Amerikantsy konvertsy put together.

I’m sorry that this posing jackanapes used the current crisis in the Vatican as a cudgel. When I mentioned it, I also mentioned our own failings, and, indeed, mostly confined myself to intramural affairs. As for my opinion, I believe that too many converts start posting before they have learnt “A cat sat on a mat” in spiritual things. Mr Dreher’s one such… however, one can say this in his defence… he’s been encouraged by equally ignorant clergy. All too many clergy in the OCA and AOCANA have heterodox, not Orthodox, formations… that isn’t a piffle. Again, I apologise for Mr Dreher’s outburst, he should have left his former confession alone, and in peace (the sheer arrogance and hubris of it’s breathtaking). If it’s any comfort, these sorts are worse to us grounded Orthodox… they tell us we’re “hateful”, that we need to go to confession, that what we believe is “wrong”, and they quote the Fathers and canons (from bad translations) ad nauseum. Mr Dreher or Mr Belyukin? There’s no contest for me… give me Dmitri Anatolyevich… and give Rod Dreher the boot!

BMD

Advertisements

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: