Vikentii Pavlovich Trofimov

Vikentii Pavlovich Trofimov

1878 —1956
An imaginative and distinct painter, as well as a gifted teacher, who has brought up more than one generation of artists, Vikentii Trofimov, can be considered one of the leading realist artists of Siberia in the post-revolutionary period and a follower of neo-impressionism. He was born on November 24, 1956, in the village of Talitsky factory of Perm province in a large family of peasant origin of the famous ship owner and industrialist Pavel Ivanov Trofimov and his wife, Matrona Semenova. The financial situation of the family was so fortunate that Pavel Trofimov could afford to give an excellent education to all his eight children. While still a high school student, Vikentii showed a noticeable predisposition to the artistic domain and a particular talent for drawing. Being almost fourteen-year-old boy in 1892, Trofimov entered the Stroganov Moscow State School of Arts and Industry. Vikentii was a capable, diligent student who graduated with honours from the Stroganov School in 1899 with a degree in "Ornamental Art". Together with his friend, also a graduate of the Stroganov School, an outstanding architect, interior and stage designer, Ignatius Nivinsky, Trofimov was awarded a gold medal for his academic achievements. Since there was just one medal which had to be shared between two people, Nivinsky and Trofimov refused to receive it, and instead, they have chosen a trip abroad, which was financed by the Stroganov School. Later, Trofimov married Nivinsky's sister, a talented singer, Vera. 

For a short period, Trofimov was studying in private art school of S. Zhukovsky and N. Khalyavin. From the moment of graduation, he has begun to regularly participate in All-Russian competitions of the Art Industry in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where he was repeatedly awarded first prizes, until 1916. In 1900, Vikentii Pavlovich was appointed a teacher of evening classes at the Stroganov School. In December 1900, he was transferred to the village of Rechitsa as a head of the branch of the Stroganov School, where he stayed until September 1903, when he was sent to the town of Sudzha. In 1903-1906, Vikenti Pavlovich worked together with the famous architect, who made the most substantial contribution to the urban landscape of Moscow in the peculiar style of Russian neoclassical revival, and also the artist, Ivan Zholtovsky. Trofimov's murals and paintings can be seen at The House of the Racing Society in Moscow, one of Zholtovsky's earliest projects. Vikentii Trofimov worked as an artist in the Sudzha country council and headed the artistic division of Artisanal Department until 1905. Then, for a short period, he moved to Moscow, where he taught watercolour technique at the private art and industrial school of Bogdanov and Galkin. Like other distinguished artists of the time, he continued enhancing his skills and becoming familiar with the trends of Western art abroad, where he was travelling extensively from 1906 to 1912. Vikentii Trofimov was participating in art exhibitions in Germany, England, Italy, and France.

The most impressive, mature period of Trofimov's creative work happened during the years of 1910-1930. In 1909, the artist relocated again: this time he was offered a position of the head of the Stroganov School's branch in Sergiev Posad, where he stayed until 1911, when he took the lead of another branch of the Stroganov School in Voronezh. In 1916, Vikentii Pavlovich joined the Moscow Association of Artists. Trofimov has managed to depict the arrival of Nicholas II in Voronezh during the First World War in the form of an etude. This work, along with other paintings of this period, is stored in the collection of the Voronezh Museum of the Local History. In the early 1920s, Vikentii Pavlovich painted his famous series of works dedicated to the old Voronezh and the construction of ships at The Peter Admiralty Shipyards. This series was facilitated by the artist's cooperation with the Archaeological society, whose members intended to save the disappearing urban landscape, for the reconstruction and study of which they had employed well-known local artists, including A. M. Vasnetsov. Trofimov himself loved to sail and was a wonderful yachtsman. Sea was his passion; thus, he had this special connection with boats and ships which resulted in his ability to depict them as incredibly detailed and accurate so that even many prominent marine painters would not have been able to compete with Trofimov. In 1924, the artist and his family moved to Omsk, to teach in the Art College named after M. A. Vrubel, where he headed the Painting Department. During this time, Vikentii Pavlovich was also leading the branch of the society "New Siberia", which he tried to reunite with the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. Also, he created a number of interesting paintings on the theme of Siberia, as well as, produced a series of sketches of the Siberian resort named "Borovoe". The family moved to Moscow again in 1932. At that moment, Trofimov with great enthusiasm was undertaking the public commissions for painting the exteriors and interiors of the buildings. Among other things, Vikentii decorated the ceiling of the Grand Staircase in the House of the Soviet Army, the ceiling of the White Hall of Moscow City Council and the ceiling of the Shchusev Museum of Architecture, as well as also worked on the project in the house of Governor-General Motovsky. Another Trofimov's monumental work can be found at the House of People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry of the USSR in Sochi. The artist's next house move happened at the end of the 1930s when the family settled in Zagorsk. Together with his son, Vikentii was working on the restoration of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. In Zagorsk, the artist experienced a strong influence of Russian national traditional art. He continued to paint and participate in exhibitions until his death. Trofimov died on February 10, 1956, at the age of seventy-seven in Zagorsk, Moscow region.


Глинкин, М. К открытию выставки работ художника В. П. Трофимова. Газета "Вперед", 21 августа 1955 года.
Каталог выставки произведений Викентия Павловича Трофимова. (1955) Загорск
Каталог галереи Шишкина: 1920-е-1930-е. Аукцион живописи и графики, 18 декабря 2004, Москва, с.24-27.
Никонов, В. Викентий Павлович Трофимов - Заведующий Гжельским Филиалом Строгановского Училища. 
Руденко, Е. (2007) Викентий Трофимов: Живопись и Графика. Москва: Галерея Шишкина.
"Творчество" (1937) Издательство "Искусство". N 8-9.