The Age of Anton Barkhatkou
February 9 - March 12, 2017
Throughout his long career and creative development Anton Barkhatkou – a prominent Belarusian artist, the Honoured Artist of Belarus – has turned to various genres of painting: thematic picture, portrait and still life. Nevertheless he became most famous as a master of landscape. The majority of his art works is full of lyrical and poetic mood.
According to official data Anton Barkhatkou was born on 17th of January in 1917 in the village of Shchaglouka of the Mogilev region. However, according to the artist, he was born two years earlier – in 1915.
In 1940 Anton Barkhatkou graduated from the Moscow Regional Pedagogical Art College in memory of the 1905 Rebellion (nowadays – the Moscow State Academic Art School in the Memory of 1905). Talented Soviet artists and pedagogues Pyotr Petrovichev (1874–1947) and Nikolay Krymov (1884–1958) have become his teachers: they taught their students in the best traditions of Russian lyrical landscape, which is characterized by a vivid emotional perception of nature.
Immediately after the graduation of the College the young artist was drafted into the Red Army. He had to undergo all the ordeals of the Great Patriotic War.
In 1944 Anton Barkhatkou has moved to Minsk, at the beginning of his career he worked as a painter at the State Art Gallery (today – the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus), then – at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, as the Head of the Art Department.
After a few years the young artist was able to realize his long-cherished dream: he entered the Moscow State Art Institute (today – the Moscow State Academic Art Institute named after Vasily Surikov at the Russian Academy of Arts). Vera Favorskaya (1896–1977), Ivan Chekmazov (1901–1961), Sergey Gerasimov (1885–1964), Dmitry Mochalsky (1908–1988) and Pyotr Pokarzhevsky (1889–1968) were among his teachers. But Barkhatkou primarily considered himself as a pupil of Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya (1872–1957), a native of Belarus, a prominent painter, a successor of the traditions of Realism and a master of lyrical landscape.
Lyrical landscapes created by Anton Barkhatkou attract the attention by their honesty, the directness of vision, and the naturalness of composition. He had a talent of showing nature in different seasons. Winter landscapes created by the artist are diverse in their mood: poetically sad, calm; they are drawn with a cloudy sky, a bluish and gray flair; they are filled with mystery, or more intense colorful combinations. Anton Barkhatkou preferred drawing early spring, when the snow has not been quite melted, but nature has already lived in the anticipation of changes.
Summer time is also colourfully and earnestly represented in the art works by the landscape painter. The paintings dedicated to that time are varied in their mood: the joy of life and a fairy-tale charm are being shown in them. Sometimes the sense of vigilance and anxiety, as well as a feeling of purity and freshness are seen in the paintings.
The artist was also inspired by autumn: he was a skilful master of conveying alarming mysteriousness at one moment, and a few sad beauty of golden autumn at the next one as well as the mood of cautious expectation of changes at one time, and an imminent arrival of winter cold at the next moment.
The art works by Anton Barkhatkou are stored at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus as well as in a number of other museums and private collections in our country and abroad, including the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
Leading Scientific Researcher of
the Scientific and Archival Department,
Keeper of the Collections of Russian and Belarusian Painting