Aleksandr Deyneka

Alexendre Alexandrovitch Keineka, “La Douche, Apres la Bataille (Shower, After the Battle)’, 1937-42, Oil on Canvas, Kursk State Art Gallery

Born in May of 1899, Aleksandr Deuneka was a Soviet Russian painter, graphic artist and sculptor, regarded as one of the most important Russian modernist figurative painters of the first half of the 20th century. He was a founding member of groups such as OST and Oktyabr, and his work gained wide exposure in major exhibitions. Deyneka’s paintings and drawings depict genre scenes as well as figures engaged in labor and sports.

The painting “After Battle” was inspired by a photograph by legendary Soviet photographer Boris Ignatovich that was presented to Aleksandr Deyneka. Deyneka thought the composition with an athlete in the foreground was perfection itself. He had difficulty transferring it to the canvas, however, and the painting took five years to complete. Deyneka finished it at the height of World War II, which is why the athletes in the title had turned into soldiers.

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