The Soviet artist Viktor Losev (1926-1995) worked in the plain-air. First of all, he painted his native Volgograd (from 1925 to 1961 - Stalingrad) and citizens. He kept the finished works in the basement of the store "Chemicals". In May 1969 store manager having decided to vacate the premises for other needs, without notifying the artist, ordered to burn the paintings. So about 300 canvases painted by artist since the beginning of his creative activity in Astrakhan, Tver, Volgograd, Saratov, Krasnodar, Moscow, Narva, Riga, Tallinn and St. Petersburg were lost.
History has caused a resonance. Victor Losev received about 5000 letters of support from citizens of all the republics of the USSR. The moment of the death of the paintings became a turning point in his work. The artist began to paint miniatures and give them to the citizens of the city according to the legend. It was a chronicle of Volgograd and its surroundings: landscapes, portraits, sketches of everyday scenes. He decided that the residents of the city will save his works better. He worked in the streets of Volgograd for 26 years, becoming a part of the urban environment. More than three thousand works of the artist are stored in the families of citizens.
Genius of the place
Artist of the City of Peace
Viktor Losev was one of the few artists in the cities who refused to image and romanticize the war. He believed that war is the worst way to resolve disputes between people. He painted a retrospective of the construction of a new city, the City of Peace, which idea was gradually forgotten by inhabitants of Volgograd.
The V. Losev's painting is based on the impressionistic vision of the world.
В. N. Losev was one of the few artists who consciously and consistently used not only techniques of impressionism, but also its ideological values. Therefore, in his landscapes, especially in urban pictures, prosaic motifs were freed from everyday narrative and enriched with poetic intonations based on a sincere delight from what he saw. The main task for the artist was to depict the air; he had an extraordinary sense of space and talent to convey it through color and tone. The palette was based on light, pure colors, but in spite of that their combinations conveyed the surrounding world.
Landscape is the main genre in the work of V.Losev. We can call him one of the creators of the picturesque history of Volgograd and its surroundings. For him the city is a home and the citizens are neighbors. His city is not ceremonial, not official. It is permeated by the daily concerns of citizens, who have joys and troubles. It was V.Losev who was able to see a separate house, street, square in the big city and to fix their fleeting changes. But as an urban dweller, he remained free from the mental matrix of the city, its absorbing power, remaining himself.
Although art experts perceive V.Losev as a lyricist due to his picturesque language, he loved the epic landscapes, where there are a lot of sky, trees and houses on the background of low horizon. V.Losev conveyed the majesty of Stalingrad (later - Volgograd) at the expense of such techniques without false pathetic.