Collection of illustrations to "Kalevala"
In the Museum of fine arts of the Republic of Karelia the unique collection of products of the fine arts (mainly easel paintings and book drawings) on the themes of the epos "Kalevala" is collected.
In 1933 in publishing house " Academia" in Leningrad the book "Kalevala" was issued, made by the creative collective of artists - followers of Pavel Nikolaevich Filonov, under his direct supervision. The most part of illustrations in the book has been performed by Mihail Petrovich Tsybasov (1904 - 1967) and Alisa Ivanovna Poret (1902-1984). In 70th years the Museum of the fine arts of the Republic of Karelia has got M.P.Tsybasov's author's drawings to this book, and also prompts and endings to the runos, performed by A.I.Poret for the book "Kalevala", issued in Petrozavodsk in 1940.
The greatest contribution in illustrating and popularization of the epos "Kalevala" in 40-80-е years has been made by the artists of Karelia and Leningrad (nowadays Saint Petersburg). The first among them was the Karelian Osmo Pavlovich Borodkin (1913-1949), working on "Kalevala" in the first post-war years. At the All-Union competition of illustrations to the epos devoted to the 100-the anniversary of its full edition Osmo Borodkin was awarded the III premium (posthumously).
For more than 50 years the National Artist of the Republic of Karelia Georgy Adamovich Stronk (born 1910), the owner of the II premium at the same competition, the author of illustrations to the books "Kalevala" (Petrozavodsk, 1956) and "Kalevala" (Petrozavodsk, 1985) is creatively bound with "Kalevala". The Honored Artist of the RSFSR, the Winner of the State premium named after I.E.Repin Mud Marievich Mechev (born 1928) for the first time has met "Kalevala", when to he was 20 years, and continues to work on it now. M.Mechev has decorated the book "Kalevala", issued in Petrozavodsk in Russian 1956. In the collection of the Museum of fine arts of the RK the water colors of M.Mechev to this book and his engravings to "Kalevala" issued in the Finnish language in Petrozavodsk twenty years later are performed.
The epos "Kalevala" is the main theme in creativity of the Honored Artist of the RSFSR Tamara Grigorievna Yufa (born 1937). "Kalevala" has given the opportunity to reveal her individualities in the most bright way. Except for illustrations to the books of "Kalevala", in 60-90-th years Tamara Yufa has performed the big cycle easel graphic compositions on the motives of the epos, preferring lyrical runos and female images of "Kalevala".
To the plots of "Kalevala" the following artists have addressed in different years: Nikolay Ivanovich Brjuhanov (born 1918) with a series of water colors "Motifs of Kalevala", Eduard Aleksandrovich Akulov (born 1938) with sketches for stained-glass windows "Heroes ofKalevala", Boris Ravilievich Akbulatov (born 1949) with illustrations to the book "Kalevala" and easel drawings, Reino Andreevich Yussikainen(born 1926) with posters on the themes of "Kalevala" etc.
In "Kalevala" collections of the Museum of fine arts of the RK also the drawings to the books of "Kalevala", issued in different years in Leningrad and in Petrozavodsk made by the classics of Russian book drawings: the Honored Artist of the RSFSR Nikolai Mihailovich Kochergin (1897-1974), the National Artist of the RSFSR Valentin Ivanovich Kurdov (1905-1989), and also the Leningrad artist Yuri Konstantinovich Lukshin (born 1949), actively working on "Kalevala" in 80-90-е years are performed.
From the "Kalevala" works of the foreign artists the illustrations of Girt Wilks (born 1909) to the book "Kalevala", issued in Riga in 1964, and the lithographs of the Finnish artist Tapio Tapiavaara (1908-1982) on the themes of "Kalevala" are available in the Museum of fine arts of the RK.
The collection of graphic works is supplemented by the sketches of the theatrical scenery of the Honored Artist of the RSFSR A.A.Shelkovnikov (born 1920) to the first Karelian ballet " Sampo", portraits of storytellers of the National Artist of Russia of L.F.Lankinen (1926-1996), products from birch bark of the national master V.A.Kostylev (1905-1988), sketches of embroideries of V.M.Agapov (1898-1984), and also books of "Kalevala" from the library of the museum, issued in different languages.
By the 150-th anniversary of the first edition of the epos "Kalevala" the Museum of fine arts of the RK has prepared an exhibition of illustrations of the Russian artists to "Kalevala" (January, 10 till March, 21, 1999) in Riihimaki in Finland and an exhibition "Kalevala Alive" (together with the state study of local lore museum) within the framework of the Days of Karelia in Moscow.