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Russian Museum Shows Traugot Family Unity

“Yellow Sun” by Vera Yanova, whose works are on display for the first time.

ST. PETERSBURG — A new exhibit at the State Russian Museum celebrates one of St. Petersburg's most illustrious families of artists: The Traugot family.

The St. Petersburg family is known foremost for the book illustrations by brothers Alexander (1931-present) and Valery Traugot (1936-2009). They illustrated more than 400 books, including the works of Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Vladimir Nabokov and many other authors, totaling about 80 million copies.

The goal of this exhibit is not, however, to show their famed illustrations, but to explore the idea of the Traugot family's unity and continuity. For this purpose, the exposition brings together about 200 works by four artists: paintings, sculpture and porcelain by the aforementioned brothers, watercolor landscapes by their father Georgy (1903-1961) and city landscapes, still life and portraits by his wife, Vera Yanova (1907-2004). Many of these works have never been shown before.

The exhibit's star is the mother, a little-known painter whose pictures are on display to the public for the first time. Her images, which convey an emotional intensity through dramatic brush strokes, are comparable to Van Gogh's works.

While the members of the Traugot family are independent artists using different art styles, love for St. Petersburg unites them in the exhibit space. They all devoted time and effort to depicting their home city, and a separate room at the museum is dedicated to besieged Leningrad in the works of Georgy Traugot.

"It took nearly three years to prepare the exhibit," said Kozyreva. "The idea was born a long time ago, because the Traugot artists are very famous in our city.

"Alexander is the only family member still alive. He gave us the opportunity to work with the family collection stored in St. Petersburg, in his parent's studio on Ulitsa Blokhina," she added.

Alexander Traugot now lives in Paris, but often visits his native city. He attended the opening of the exhibit and told reporters that despite his advanced age, he continues to work.

The "Traugot Family" exhibit runs through Oct. 15. Marble Palace, 5/1 Millionnaya Ulitsa. St. Petersburg. www.rusmuseum.ru.

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