Vladimir Aleksandrovich Serov

Vladimir Aleksandrovich Serov

1910 —1969
  • Winner of the Stalin prize (1948; 1951)
  • Corresponding member of the Academy of Arts (1947)
  • Academician of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1954)
  • People's Artist of the USSR (1958)
Vladimir Serov was a successful Soviet painter, graphic artist, teacher, Professor, President of the Academy of Arts of the USSR in the period between 1962 - 1968. Many of his works, executed in the genre of socialist realism, he devoted to the historical and revolutionary subject matter. At some point several of his paintings, such as "Lenin's Walkers", have been included in all Soviet school textbooks - this fact clearly demonstrates how close Serov's art was to the official Soviet artistic ideology and what value it has acquired during that years.

Vladimir Serov was born July 21, 1910, in the small village of Emmaus in Tver province to a family of teachers. Since childhood, the boy knew what profession he would choose in the future: "the choice of profession was a painful experience for many, but for me, it was determined very early on, and I had no other dream but to become an artist", - the artist has recalled. The first portrait of Lenin Serov painted when he was five years old. Subsequently, throughout his artistic career, the image of the leader was dominating in the works of Vladimir Aleksandrovich. This topic has made Serov a famous, recognised and well-received artist. He has defined his art as follows: "If you look closely at everything that I have created in my life, there was a constant presence of something that has always worried me, - it is our people engaged in the grand events, in the struggle". The first teacher of Vladimir Aleksandrovich was an outstanding artist who participated in influential, extraordinary exhibitions of progressive art groups such as "Jack of Diamonds" and "Blue Rose", Savely Schleifer. Then, there was a period of study at the all-Russian Academy of Arts in the studio of the famous historical painter and portraitist V. E. Savinsky. In 1931, after graduating from the main course of the Academy, Serov enrolled in the Graduate School of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. E. Repin in the studio under the patronage of Isaac Brodsky. After completing his education in 1933, Vladimir Aleksandrovich began to teach at the Academy of Arts. During the Second World War, the artist experienced the hardships of the blockade of Leningrad, remaining in the besieged city. He headed the Leningrad Union of artists and became one of the activists of the propagandistic creative association "Boyevoy Karandash" (Battle Pencil), which produced ideological materials in the form of political posters and satirical drawings, in particular ridiculing fascists. Serov has always followed the official style of art, recognised by the state as the right one, and later, taking the position of President of the Academy of Arts, with great enthusiasm and zeal he fought with artists of the sixties, whose views on art differed from the norms of official propaganda. 

Serov had a remarkable talent for graphics and book Illustrations, which has manifested itself in the artist's drawings for the Nekrasov's poem "Who is Happy in Russia?", Tolstoy's novel "War and Peace", Ershov's fairytales and books by Pushkin, Gorky and other prominent Russian writers. Serov's illustrations in colour for "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", which were made in the late 1950s, particularly stand out amongst his graphic works. The public life of the artist was vibrant with a clear civil position: he was a member of the All-Union Communist party of the Bolsheviks in 1942, a member of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in 1958, a member of the Central Audit Commission of the Communist party of the Soviet Union in 1961. Serov died on January 19, 1968, in Moscow and was buried at Novodevichy cemetery.


Иогансон, Б. (1967) 50 лет советского искусства (живопись). Москва: Советский Художник.
Кислицына, К. (2018) Другой Серов: когда ходоки были не белыми. [online] Газета. Ru Available at:
Коровкевич, С. (1967) В. А. Серов. Ленинград: Художник РСФСР.
Лебедев, А. (1984) Владимир Серов. Москва: Искусство.
Серов, В. (1951) Автобиография. Серия "Мастера советского изобразительного искусства. Автобиографические очерки". Москва: Искусство.