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The “Inner Book” of the G. A. V. Traugot Brothers

G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Hans Andersen's fairy tale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”. 1983. Paper, watercolor, ink.
14 january—12 february 2022
In June 2021, Alexander Traugot turned ninety.

The exhibition in the Russian Museum completes the program of the anniversary year; at the same time, its scale not only allows sophisticated viewers to once again turn to the work of the family of these famous Russian illustrators, but also allows all those who get to know it for the first time to get a capacious idea of ​​both the diversity of its stylistic nature and the richness of the thematic and genre spectrum.

The creative tandem of brothers Alexander and Valery Traugot does not need a special introduction. It became a truly significant phenomenon in the artistic life of post-war Leningrad, and a huge number of book illustrations signed with the memorable triple initial “G.A.V.” together represents one of the brightest pages in the history of the Soviet post-war art of the book.

The Traugots began working in book design in the second half of the 1950s. In the following decades, active cooperation with a number of well-known publishing houses provided Alexander and Valery with a fertile field for experiments that were very bold for those times - it was on this field that their formation in the profession and, in the future, full-fledged creative self-realization took place. The experimental approach of the Traugoths to the design of the book, which was primarily manifested in the emphasized forcing of the color basis of the illustration, also benefited from the confident possession of the skills of quick drawing, apt and, on the other hand, bold and sensual. This allowed them to combine the elegant freedom of drawing with the scrupulousness of detailing. A solid knowledge of the capabilities of domestic printing, a thorough acquaintance with the principles and technologies of machine printing, as well as a penchant for persistent creative search, coupled with a colossal capacity for work, became the key to the lasting success of the Traugots in the field of illustration and their well-deserved fame as connoisseurs and masters of the book art.

The latter quality is inextricably linked with a genuine, undiminished over time, interest in the work process as an act of creativity in the original sense. Interest, again and again confirmed by the current work of Alexander Traugot, who continues to work actively, and extends to all the work of artists, far from being limited to work in a book.

The exhibition brings together mixed material. The main part of the exposition is book graphics: original illustrations and sketches for numerous works of world literature. First of all, we are talking about, relatively speaking, “childish” illustrations of the Traugots of the 1960s–1990s: here we also see extensive graphic comments on the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, drawings and watercolors for the works of Maurice Maeterlinck, Edmond Rostand, Alexander Pushkin, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Kuprin, Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Volkov, Nina Gernet, Boris Sergunenkov, Russian folk tales and many more. Of particular interest is a unique material - a number of early (1950s - early 1960s) illustrations for books dedicated to the circus, which were never published.

In addition, there is a solid amount of easel works: portraits, landscapes and still lifes, made in various techniques (painting and graphics) in different years - from the beginning of the 1970s to the end of 2021. The exposition is complemented by decorative works - painted porcelain pieces.
A significant part of the works from all three sections has not previously been shown in a museum context.

The exhibition is organized by the Traugot Readings project and the Department of Social and Cultural Communications of the Russian Museum.

Working hours:
Mon - Sat: 11:00 - 18:00
Thu: 11:00 - 20:00

Entrance to the exhibition is carried out by sessions. Sessions are held at the beginning of every hour.

The exhibition is held in the Eastern Pavilion of the St. Michael’s Castle.
Address: Inzhenernaya st., 10.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office of the Mikhailovsky Palace and the St. Michael’s Castle, as well as on the museum website (on Tuesdays only tickets purchased online are valid).

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G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Hans Andersen's fairy tale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”. 1983. Paper, watercolor, ink. G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Samuil Marshak’s book “The Circus” (not published). The first half of the 1950s. Paper, watercolor. G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Samuil Marshak’s book “The Circus” (not published). The first half of the 1950s. Paper, watercolor. G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the  Alexander Volkov’s fairy tale “The Wizard of the Emerald City”. 2014. Paper, ink, pastel. G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Hans Andersen's fairy tale “The Emperor's New Clothes”. 1978. Paper, watercolor. G.A.V. Traugot. Illustration to the Elena Krzhizhanovsky’s book “The man decides by himself”. 1963. Paper, watercolor, ink. Valery Traugot. The Circus. 1950s. Paper, watercolor, ink. Alexander Traugot. Drawings. 1970s. Paper, watercolor, ink. Alexander Traugot. Drawings. 1970s. Paper, watercolor, ink. Alexander Traugot. The Circus. Late 1940s. Paper, ink. Alexander Traugot. The Circus. Late 1940s. Paper, ink.

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