Byalynitsky-Birulya Vitold Kaetanovich
1872–1957

BYALYNITSKY-BIRULYA Vitold Kaetanovich

January 31, 1872 (Krynki, near Belynichi, Mogilev province) — June 18, 1957 (Moscow)

Painter, graphic artist

Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya finished Vladimir military school in Kiev (1885). In 1885–1889 he studied at Kiev Drawing School under the guidance of N. I. Murashko. Later in 1889–1896 he attended Moscow School of painting, sculpture and architecture (MUZhVZ) under I. M. Pryanishnikov, N. V. Nevreev, S. A. Korovin, and V. D. Polenov. Byalynitsky-Birulya took advices of I. I. Levitan.

Byalynitsky-Birulya lived in Moscow; sometimes he worked in Tver province. He worked as a landscape painter. Byalynitsky-Birulya began to participate in exhibitions in 1891 (Student’s exhibition, MUZhVZ). He was a member and participant of the exhibitions of Moscow Society of Art Lovers (1897–1907, with intervals), Moscow Association of Artists (1897–1903, with intervals, became a member in 1899), the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (TPKhV, 1898–1918, became a member in 1904). In 1899 on the competition of Moscow Society of Art Lovers Byalynitsky-Birulya was awarded the first prize named after V. P. Botkin for the painting Spring is coming. In 1901 he was awarded the gold medal for the painting Permanent snow at the Caucus jubilee exhibition in Tiflis. In 1909 at the International art exhibition in Munich Byalynitsky-Birulya was awarded gold medal for the painting In silence. In 1911–1912 at the International art exhibition in Barcelona he was awarded the bronze medal for the painting Winter dream. Before spring.

In 1908 Byalynitsky-Birulya was conferred title of an artist for the painting Early spring. He traveled a lot: in 1899 he visited Stockholm, in late 1890s — early 1900s — France and Holland, in early 1910s — Germany, in 1912–1914 — Denmark, Sweden, Norway. In 1912 Byalynitsky-Birulya together with S. Y. Zhukovsky, A. S. Stepanov, A. V. Moravov, N. P. Bogdanov-Belsky founded art colony in his dacha Chaika (“Seagull”) on Udomlya Lake in Tver province.

In 1919–1920 Byalynitsky-Birulya founded several general schools in Moscow and Tver provinces, where he taught drawing. In soviet years he worked in Byelorussia, in Yasnaya Polyana (1920, 1928), in village Mikhailovskoye (1937), in Gorki Leninskiye (1924, 1927–1937, 1945), in Klin (1940s). He made several trips to the North — to Pomorye and North of the Arctic Circle (1932–1939), to the metallurgical plant Azovstal (1934); in 1944 he visited Arkhangelsk.

In 1918 Byalynitsky-Birulya became one of the founders of the association Izograf. Since 1922 he was a member and participant of the exhibitions of the Association of the artists of Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR). He took part in the Exhibition of sketches, studies and drawings on everyday life of the Workers’–Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA) in 1922. In 1927–1928 Byalynitsky-Birulya was a member and participant of the exhibitions of the Association of realist painters. He also took part in the Second State art exhibition in Moscow, in the First State Independent art exhibition in Petrograd (both — 1919), in the exhibition of Russian art in the USA (1924–1925, travelling exhibition), in many all-union exhibitions (1939, 1943–1944, 1946–1947) and in the exhibitions of soviet art abroad. The personal exhibitions of the artist were held in Moscow in 1936, 1937, 1947, 1954.

In 1937 Byalynitsky-Birulya was conferred title of the Honoured Art worker of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic), in 1944 — title of the People’s Artist of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in 1947 — title of the People’s Artist of the USSR; since 1947 he became a member of the USSR Academy of Arts.

Byalynitsky-Birulya wrote the memoirs Notes of an artist (Moscow, 1958).

Retrospective exhibitions of works of the painter were organized in Minsk (1962, 1972, 1978–1979, 1982, 1997), in Mogilev (1967), in Molodechno (1978–1979), in Trigorskoye (1979), in Tallinn (1986), in Polotsk (1988), in Vitebsk (1990) and many other cities.

Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya was one of the most significant masters of the Russian (Soviet) landscape of the first half of the 20th century. In his art he continued traditions of chamber lyrical landscape of the end of the 19th century. His works were characterized by emotional and free strokes, by attention to light effects, by love to different states of nature. In soviet time this style of painting was subjected to criticism, but Byalynitsky-Birulya succeeded to create on the basis of lyrical landscape so called memorial landscape, which was dedicated to the places connected with life and activity of outstanding people.

Works by Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya are in many museum collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, Kiev Museum of Russian Art, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk and others.

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