Russian Personalities

About people well-known in art, sport, film, fashion, music

 

Bright artist Leonid Afremov

Bright artist Leonid Afremov

Bright artist Leonid Afremov


Leonid Afremov is an impressionist painter. He is one of the most recognizable contemporary artists. He developed his own unique style, which cannot be confused with that of any other artist. His style is unique and simple. Leonid uses knife instead of a brush. The artist likes to travel. He paints landscapes, city scenes, seascapes, flowers and portraits. Afremov’s paintings are full of optimism, passion and incredible energy.
Leonid was born on July 12, 1955 in Vitebsk (Belarus, USSR). The artist was born in the same town as Marc Chagall, who later had a significant influence on his work. Leonid was a good student, was fond of history and fine art, collected stamps and listened to the Beatles. His father was a shoe designer and manufacturer and his mother worked at a metallurgical plant.
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Mikhail Speransky – outstanding Russian statesman

Alexander Varnek. Portrait of Mikhail Speransky

Alexander Varnek. Portrait of Mikhail Speransky (1824)


Count Mikhail Speransky was a Russian public figure, reformer, founder of the Russian legal science and theory of law. He created the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire. According to legend, after meeting him, Napoleon offered Alexander I to exchange him for “any kingdom”. Speransky was an Honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (since 1819), Honorary Member of the Imperial Russian Academy, and Prince Alexander II’s mentor.
Mikhail Speransky was born on January 1, 1772 in the village of Cherkutino, Vladimir province (now Sobinsky, Vladimir region). Mikhail was the eldest child in the family. The boy spent almost all of his time alone or with his grandfather Vasily, who gave the future statesman, first information about the world and man’s place in it.
In 1780 the boy entered the Vladimir diocesan seminary where he showed the passionate love of reading and thinking, independence and strength of character, as well as ability to get along with everyone, good sense of humor and modesty. He was the brightest student.
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Natalia Goncharova, Avant-garde artist

Natalia Goncharova. Self-portrait with yellow lilies.

Natalia Goncharova. Self-portrait with yellow lilies.

Natalia Goncharova was the famous Russian avant-garde painter, set designer and graphic artist. She made a significant contribution to the development of the Russian avant-garde art. Natalia was a distant relative of Russian writer Alexander Pushkin’s wife Natalia Nikolaevna (nee Goncharova).
Her paintings are more expensive than the works of any other female artist in history.
Natalia was born on August 16, 1881 in Tula region into a family of an architect. In 1891 (according to other sources in 1892), her family moved to Moscow.
Inspired by art, Goncharova entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where she studied from 1901 to 1909. There she met Mikhail Larionov, who later became her husband. They participated in various Russian and European exhibitions. Goncharova and Larionov were influenced by Cubism and Futurism, and developed their own style – Rayonism.
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Svetlana Zhurova – Russian skater

Svetlana Zhurova - Russian skater

Svetlana Zhurova – Russian skater

Svetlana Zhurova is a Soviet and Russian skater, Honored Master of Sports of Russia (1996), deputy of the State Duma, five-time Russian champion, world champion, Olympic champion (in 2006 she was one of the three Olympic champions in speed skating in the history of Russia, along with Svetlana Bazhanova and Alexander Golubev).
The future champion was born on January 7, 1972 in Leningrad Region (now St Petersburg), Russia. Since childhood Svetlana was fond of figure skating but there was small choice of sports clubs in her hometown. So she was actively involved in speed skating.
From 1988 to 2006 she was a member of the national team of the USSR and Russia in speed skating.
In 1984 Svetlana won her first medal at the championship of Leningrad among young girls.
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Sergey Utochkin – Russian Superman

Sergey Utochkin

Sergey Utochkin

Best cyclist of the Russian Empire, a pioneer of aeronautics, yachtsman, boxer and footballer. Sergey Utochkin was a real Russian superman. His life was bright, but tragic.
Sergey was born on July 12, 1876 into a family of Odessa merchant. His parents passed away, so the boy was raised up by foster carers. For some time the boy lived with Krause, school teacher, alcoholic and many children’s father. One day Krause hanged himself in the attic. Wife found a dead husband went mad with grief. She stabbed her own children. Utochkin was saved by a miracle. Obviously, that’s why Sergey was interested in extreme sports and put himself in mortal danger.
At the age of 15 Sergey left Commercial College and decided to become an athlete. He began his career with cycling. For more than 15 years he remained unbeaten Russian cyclist. He became the champion of European competitions and constantly tried to expand the boundaries of what’s possible. He ran a race with the tram, competed with a racehorse, dived, did martial arts, skydove and became one of the most famous pilots of Tsarist Russia.
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