Monday, 14 December 2015

Sergej Kolesnikov, life and Mongolian prints.

Kolesnikov, Sergej Michajlovic 
(Kalgan, Zhanjiakou/China  25-01-1889 – 10-09-1952 Weixdorf near Dresden)

Painter, sculptor and printmaker. 

Thanks to faithful reader Tom in Boston (his insomnia sometimes leading to nightly internet excursions) occasionally new (to me) artists are brought to my attention. Like this interesting painter-printmaker (and sculptor) with a famous name-sake also signing S(tepan Fedorovitch) Koleshnikoff (1879-1955) but who was not related (follow the link meeting the works of this most interesting painter). Doing some homework I managed to find 5 woodblock prints by Kolesnikov from earlier auctions etc.. and composed this biography and  blog posting. 

Sergej was the son of a Russian consulate official growing up in Kjachta on the Siberian-Mongolian border. He started in 1908 a forestry study in St. Petersburg and travelled through Russia, followed by an artistic study 1910-1913 in the painting school of Leon Bakst (1866-1924) in Petersburg and a student of Kusma Sergejewitsch Petrow-Wodkin (1879-1939). 

In 1913/14 he took part in a scientific geological expedition in Mongolia exhibited for the first time with “Mir Iskusstva” (World of Art)(*) in St. Petersburg as a member.

He served as an aircraft pilot in WW1 and was later in the artillery. After WW1 he lead the art department of the Moscow “Proletkunst” also working as free creating artist. 

In 1925 he was send by the WOKS(**) to Berlin to study West-European art. Exhibiting 1926 with Amsler & Ruthardt in Berlin and later also in Königsberg, Leipzig, Cologne, the-Hague, London and Oxford. Travelling to Paris 1927 and 1930 living and working in Berlin 1929-1943 losing everything by the bombing of the capital he moved to Weixdorf near Dresden. Member of the “Verbandes Bildender Künstlers” in Dresden.  

Many of his prints and paintings show his love for the Mongolian landscape and its habitants and traditional way of life

*) Mir Iskusstva (World of Art): Kolesnikov no doubt will have been introduced and taught printmaking by Vasily Mate (Matai) (1856-1917) who was the pivotal figure in St. Petersburg   concerning the development of early Europenan (Modern) printmaking. Much like and possibly  even earlier as Emil Orlik in Berlin. Vasily Mate also taught Anna Oustramava-Lebedeva and probably St. Petersburg students Academy students and artists members of "Mir Iskusstva" Aleksander Laszenko and Vadim Falilieev. More in next posting 
(**) WOKS: Wesojusnoe Obschtschestwo Kulturnych Swjasei s Sagranizei = “All-Unions-Gesellschaft für kulturelle Beziehungen mit dem Ausland” = International foreign cultural relationships organization.

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 


  1. so beautiful and impressively. Is possible to see more Mongolian pictures?

    1. Hello and thank you. A surprise, a comment all the way from far away Ulaanbaatar. Sorry Badamsambuu, I have no more Mongolian pictures this moment. Many Greetings from the Netherlands