The legacy of art restorer Adolf Ovchinnikov is presented in the Tretyakov Gallery

The legacy of art restorer Adolf Ovchinnikov is presented in the Tretyakov Gallery


The exhibition is dedicated to Russian and Georgian painting

One of the main Russian museums, the Tretyakov Gallery, has opened an exhibition of copies of Russian and Georgian medieval frescoes and icons created by Adolf Nikolaevich Ovchinnikov. An honored artist and restoration artist, he devoted his entire life to saving, restoring and studying ancient monuments.

Adolf Nikolaevich is the author of a unique restoration technique, which is based on creating copies-reconstructions: it allows you to understand the author’s intention and restore the lost image. Thanks to this technique, Ovchinnikov managed to restore and preserve ancient icons from museum collections not only in Russia, but also in Georgia, Bulgaria, Germany and Italy. His works were shown at 27 Russian and international exhibitions.

Over the years of work, the restoration artist published about 70 scientific articles. He taught and regularly consulted with specialists on issues of restoration, temple construction, history and philosophy of medieval art. Adolf Ovchinnikov is well known as an expert on monuments of Christian art in England, Armenia, the Vatican, Hungary, Greece, Georgia, Egypt, Italy, Cyprus, Mexico, Syria, USA, Turkey, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Japan.

A special history connects the restorer with Georgia. For 18 years, starting in 1975, Ovchinnikov came to the country and worked on copies and reconstructions of paintings of ancient churches. During this time, the artist copied the paintings of temples of the 8th–13th centuries: in Achi, David-Gareji, Svaneti, Ateni, Betania and in the cave temple of Sabereebi.

Ovchinnikov’s works, created in our country, are also presented at the exhibition in Moscow. Anyone can appreciate their beauty and become imbued with Georgian history and culture.

Photo by: Andrey Samarin

“The exhibition is dedicated to Russian and Georgian painting. Adolf Nikolaevich, naturally, copied many churches in Russia, but Georgian churches were also his hobby. This is like an earlier stage in the development of Byzantine painting on the territory of nearby states. And in this regard, it turns out that such a transition from Georgian to Russian painting actually shows that they are all heirs of Byzantine history,” emphasized the curator of the exhibition, restoration artist Alexander Gormatyuk.

Yesterday, the exhibition was visited by the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for international cultural cooperation, Mikhail Shvydkoy. He noted the high interest in the exhibition. “Georgian culture is part of our life. And in this sense, I think that for Georgia, Russian culture is not something too distant and foreign. This has always been part of Georgian life, Georgian culture. It is enough to recall the translations of the great Georgian poets, which were done by Mandelstam and Pasternak, and this has already become a part of our life. Therefore, I think that cultural ties need to be restored,” Shvydkoy said. He also expressed hope that residents of Georgia will be able to see these exhibits.

“There is an idea, of course, to transfer this exhibition to the territory of Georgia and show this community there. Moreover, I hope that the Georgian people have not lost our connection over so many centuries. I think now is the time when we can return to common roots, to a common culture, to a common religion, to common family values,” said Chairman of the Russian-Georgian Business Council Yuri Balashov.

Guests of the exhibition were representatives of Russian cultural and scientific circles, the Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches, as well as the Georgian diaspora.


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