The importance of preservation of cultural and artistic heritage for new generations cannot be overestimated. There are numerous ways through which any viewer or listener can obtain information. But a better result is attained by reconstruction of a holistic view of the creation an historical and cultural environment in Pavlodar though the interrelationship between personalities and events. Researches on the museum materials provide the most reliable information; a computer data processing makes enables to transfer information with interesting and more accessible content.
Pavlodar land has its heroes. The Pavlodar Region was the place where the great poet used to live. The poet noted the natural beauty of mighty Irtysh, floodplain meadows, boundless steppes, white salty lakes and a special provincial town climate, the turbulent events of the period from 1920s to 1930s. To this day, Pavel Vasiliev's poetry is still honest, complex; it makes you think about the meaning of life and lifetime.
A significant event occurred in the early 20th Century in Pavlodar. The future great poet and the true great artist met here. That meeting supposed to have happened because accidental coincidences are impossible. A coincidence will result in the continuation which can affect the course of history. Thankfully, that meeting was observed by contemporaries and their followers.
"... Pavlodar of early 20th Century was a supernumerary town, covered in sand and dust. Houses have been built in areas near Irtysh River. "Life in an uezd town proceeded peacefully, sleepy, monotonous, like a river named Usolka water which was covered with mould and plants in summer". [1, p.25]
Nevertheless, Pavlodar had its cultural life and educational activities. There were schools; a painting studio and an amateur theater have existed. And there was a childhood. A child's sense and impressions, heartfelt conversation with adults and a possibility to observe a life, to think, to create have shaped the sensitive, committed and partially rebellious soul.
Who are these masters? They are Victor Baturin, a painter, and Pavel Vasiliev, a future poet.
Pavel Nikolayevich Vasiliev was born on December, 23 in 1909 in Zaysan, East Kazakhstan Region. Nikolay Kornilovich Vasiliev, a father of the poet, was a math teacher and as an author of the new education programme on geometry he was transferred on a regular basis. Аs a result, P. Vasiliev discovered Atbasar, Stanitsa Syndyktavskaya. Later P. Vasiliev started first grade in Petropavl. His childhood years also were spent in Pavlodar, where Pavel Vasiliev wrote his first poetry. He honed his in Omsk, Novosibirsk, Western Siberia and Moscow, a city where he became a highly successful and where his life ended in 1937. [2, p.7]
In 1916 Pavel Vasiliev started first grade in Petropavl. In 1919 he studied in Omsk because his father has been mobilized in Army of Admiral Kolchak. In late 1920 P. Vasiliev and his family turned back to Pavlodar and settled in Glafira Matveevna's family home. Pavel studied at the 7-year school held by the Water Transport Administration his father managed. Later he started his Second Level School where Viktor Baturin, a member of The Wanderers, worked as a teacher of painting and graphic art.
A period from 1919 to 1929 is a period of V. Baturin's life in Pavlodar. The distinguished painter educated in The Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and, as a member of The Wanderers, he succeeded as an easel painting artist, a teacher and a theater decorator. An art work experience, intellectual and spiritual communication were the source of the beginning of progressive, cultural and educational life in the city. The master nonetheless continued to paint landscapes, finding new perspectives; reflecting states of nature, his mind and feelings in the works.
'There is no denying the direction of the development of landscape painting. It became more truthful, expressing not only nature views, but life and spirit of nature', said Grigori Myasoyedov commenting on the Russian Landscape Paintings. [3, с.7] These words can describe Victor Baturin's works.
Victor Baturin was a welcome guest, that way he met the Vasilievs family. Communicating with Pavel Vasiliev's father Victor Baturin also maintained contact with Pavel Vasiliev.
But a visit to Altai in summer 1923 profoundly marked the Pavel Vasiliev and Victor Baturin's art and destiny courses.
According to the memoirs of Eugenia Kissen (Stenman), Olga Grigovieva wrote: 'There were I. Chepurov, F. Kremnev, V. Baturin with fifteen boys and five girls. We sailed to Ust-Kamenogorsk, took a riverboat to Zaysan lake, where were caught in a violent storm. The nature's fury was captured by Victor Baturin in his painting and by Pavel Vasiliev in his poem'. These memoirs are complemented by Grigori Pshenitsyn, a student, 'In the upper Irtysh River, sometimes we would go ashore, went climbing mountains, and Victor Baturin, our art teacher, had been sketching, many of us have followed him. I tried to draw too, but I've got a disappointing mess. Then, Victor Baturin had come up to me and drew a line by a pencil, and a picture was born. That's when I realized what an artistic talent is’.
Olga Grigovieva, in her article entitled ‘Baturin in the Pavlodar landscape’, also draws parallels between V. Baturin’s works and P. Vasiliev’s poetry. Thus, according to Ivan Lagutin, he had seen a picture by mature Baturin. It was the picture of a ray of light coming through a dark sky. The ray down to the hot rapid waters of Irtysh River, and in its uppermost. Later, impressions from the visit were reflected in the Vasiliev’s poetry:
А луна — словно желтый гребень,
Заплутавшийся в волосах.
...Спит таким спокойным и древним
Затаивший звонкость Зайсан.
(And the Moon like a yellow comb tangled in hair. Old Zaysan sleeps safely, hides its noises.)
On this trip, Baturin actively worked. His landscape painting titled 'Zyryansk' is preserved at the Omsk Museum of The Fine Arts. Many of nature studies and sketches could potentially be the basis of future paintings. After all, Victor Baturin had always created delicate and graceful pictures of sky nature of which was more apparent at the time of a thunderstorm. An example can be found in Baturin's work titled 'The Storm', located in the Pavlodar Region Art Museum fund.
The artist V. Baturin had an important influence on the young P. Vasiliev; it was described by Gennady Tyurin, a well-known Kazakhstani literary critic, in his letter to K.I. Velichko, a director of Pavlodar Region Art Museum. 'Analyzing the poet's works, that is full of contrasts and vibrant colors, suggestions of the creative profound influence of Victor Baturin seem quite judicious", he wrote.
Their characters were quite similar: they both were passionate, impulsive men. They were also kindred spirits because of curiosity, talents and a thirst for creativity.
Considering the Pavel Vasiliev's poetry, it is possible to notice his awe, admiration, particular respect to the painter and his self-acceptance as an unnecessary poet. (If I was an artist, I'd like to turn these tales into the picture...)
Pavel Vasiliev address to dogmas of the art in his poetry of Pavlodar life period. He draws analogies in a simple and light manner. It demonstrates that the author is familiar with the classical visual arts of Europe.
(Вступление к поэме «Мариэм»
… Париж. Блестящая столица!
Кровавых улиц полутон.
У Лувра мраморные лица
(The introduction to "Maryam" poem: ‘...Paris! The brilliant capital city! A semitone of bloody streets. Marble faces at the Louvre. The faces of mythological gods…’)
It's like description of nature, architecture and people in Vasiliev's poetry created by the original artist's eye. He uses the art terminology knowledgeably. It just feels like he drew the painting by words. For example:
… Там Рим стоит старинным Богом
И величавый и могучий,
Одетый в шелковую тогу.
Ах, ричи тачи, ричи тачи, ну! -
Там Рим стоит старинным Богом. …
(To Italy. 'There is Rome sits as ancient god. Mighty and majestic. Dressed in a silk toga. Ah, ricci tacchi, ricci tacchi, well!').
January 16, 1926
Even without a keen awareness of the Poetic language, it is possible to feel that an artistic component of its figures asserting itself vividly. This pictures him as an 'artist of his words'. Pavel Vasiliev had an imagination without borders and artistic vision. He had feeling of Mother Nature, human psychology and personalities. He was creating works faithfully and accurately as a painter by brush.
Pavel Vasiliev was posthumously rehabilitated in 1957; his collections of poetry were realized later. His works are still interesting to people, the master's poetry is more vivid nowadays. Pavel Vasiliev loved his homeland: 'a land, over which Kazakhstani sky hanged'. 'My Pavlodar, my hawk city', his lines have become a poetic emblem of Pavlodar. These words put feelings of several generations in Pavlodar together, of people who really love the motherland. Vasiliev's poetry has inspired new artists to creation of genuine and ecstatic works. A historic framework will make it possible to fully make use of a spiritual potential to preserve the cultural heritage to future generations.
Also, another significant person of Pavlodar was a pupil of Victor Baturin, Ivan Vasilievich Lagutin. He was a junior; however, he has become a link between Victor Baturin, Pavel Vasiliev and the present. Ivan Lagutin had thought about his childhood and his peers often. Talking about Pavel Vasiliev, he has noted the imagery of Vasiliev's artistic language, an artistry of his poetry, the recognisability of imageries and plots. Ivan Lagutin also became a link between 20th and 21th Centuries. Because of him, the chain of events helped establish the art environment in Pavlodar: the opening of the fine art department in the local history Museum, Pavlodar artists’ first exhibitions, the foundation of the Pavlodar Region Art Museum. Lagutin was an educated, smart, active and creative person. Local history, photography, fine art: any kind of his activity proved to be extremely important and significant.
It is not without reason that in modern Pavlodar some of creative people refer to historical events of the 20th Century in their works, and transform information into material culture. The poetry enables plots and stories to be ambitiously reproduced, by reviewing characters as a part of the motherland and course of events in the big country. They are a starting point of creative searches and expressions by modern artists. Pavel Vasiliev's poetry got a second breath in 1980s of 20th Century because of works by Victor Polikarpov, a Pavlodar graphic artist same age as Pavlodar region. In 2018 the artist turns 80 years old. His cycle titled 'To the poetry by Pavel Vasiliev' transports the viewer to the first half of 20th Century, unveiling some of the mystery behind the society's conception of life. What were they worried about? What were they thinking? What were their lifestyles, actions and accomplishments?
'...The world of endless steppes, the silver of Irtysh river, a speech in Russian and Kazakh. Everything is an air of my childhood. Pavel Vasiliev gave me the world of my grandparents' spirit, it is always with me. Their discussion is unending, grass beneath their feet blown by the wind, hot sand and noisy Irtysh River... Pavel Vasiliev's poetry is the great phenomenon. Attempting to better understand him and trying to express my attitude to his works, I started to investigate the history of our region, Cossacks, traditions and life of nomads. The amazing personal world where words find their essence, odors and colors was given to us by Pavel Vasiliev...
I just draw not illustrations for poetry, I draw what I feel to the life, i draw the respect for the great artist's skills. And to eternal that got me because of the miraculous poetic word of Pavel Vasiliev', Victor Polikarpov said.
And now, the students of Victor Fyodorovich will reflect a history of The Priirtyshie land in their works. A link between the time will not be interrupted.
Deputy Head, Member of the Union of Artists of Republic of Kazakhstan
Terenik, M.S., Chmykh N.I. Pavlodar: Stages of development (1720-2000s), 1st Edition. LLP Publishing house, 2004. 206 pages, 25 p.
Vasiliev, P. The collected works, 1st Edition. Almaty, 2009
The opening article by G.G.Myasoedov for 'Twenty-fifth anniversary of The Wanderers' Album (1872-1897).
Grigorieva, O.N. ‘Baturin in the Pavlodar landscape’, 'The Priirtyshie Star', No. 13, 31.01.1998
Materials from The Pavlodar Region Art Museum funds. From V.P.Baturin's personnel file. A letter by G.A.Tyurin to a director of The Pavlodar Region Art Museum, Velichko K.I. From October 26, 1983.
Polikarpov, V. The catalogue. Pavlodar, 2013, p. 16
Lagutin, I. The catalogue. Pavlodar, 2013, p. 5