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Boris Arakcheev: Belarus’ greatest artist of 20th century

Boris Arakcheev was born to a rural family. He started to work early in order to help his parents. He was still a boy when he voluntarily went to war.

He didn’t have any education or so-called cultural background. However, after WWII, he stayed in Minsk, and a miracle happened.

Once, in a park, a young soldier, who survived the horrors of war, saw an artist drawing a landscape, and fell in love with painting.

Today, it is almost impossible to believe that a 24-year-old man who had never held a paintbrush in his hand could become an artist. However, he did it. In 1950, he entered the Minsk State Art College. Thus, the world could see one of the greatest Belarusian artists of the 20th century – Boris Arakcheev.

He was a great artist, a brilliant teacher, and was later given the title of the Honored Artist of the Republic of Belarus. Boris Arakcheev did not care much about fame. His main goal was pure art. He couldn’t stop drawing. He didn’t stop until March 10, 2013.

Oksana Arakcheeva, artist:
Painting was my father’s life. He was painting everywhere. Sometimes, he even painted on some piece of wood instead of a canvas. He saw what I couldn’t see.

Nobody can say exactly how many works Boris Arakcheev painted. Even his children can’t. His three daughters are also artists. One of them is Oksana Arakcheeva – the author of the famous series of paintings “Minsk windows”.

Oksana Arakcheeva, artist:
Frankly speaking, I didn’t see my father much. I saw him rarely because he was teaching and was busy in his workshop, but when I saw him, I was very happy.

Minsk was a center of many Arakcheev’s works. The artist began with small pictures when serving in the army and ended being an author of a number of major paintings.

Twelve days after Boris Arakcheev’s death, his last painting was shown in the State Museum of Yanka Kupala. That place was chosen on purpose because that last work was a portrait of Yanka Kupala. The painting was finished a few hours before Boris Arakcheev’s death.

Mr Arakcheev’s art is unique and it’s impossible to confuse it with somebody else’s art.

Oksana Arakcheeva, artist:
I painted together with him. I was happy. That was the man who should be with me. That’s why, to be honest, his death is very hard for me. However, I know he will always be with me. Here, in his paintings, in his art, he is with me all the time.