Wormwood Steppe
Wormwood Steppe

Nechitailo, Vasili Kirillovich

1915 - 1980

Wormwood Steppe

Oil on board

86 x 104cm


Signed lower right



Family of the artist

Private collection USA


Certificate from the artist's son, Dmitry Nechitailo

Certificate from Vern Swanson, Director of the Springville Museum.


Vasili Nechitailo

In 'Wormwood Steppe' the sun is setting over the horizon as the sky turns vivid yellow and purple.  The wind ripples across the grasses and the influence of Nechitailo's teacher, Sergei Gerasimov, can be seen in the simple palette of earth colours.  A pure and simple landscape in the tradition of Levitan...there is no superfluous detail.  The painting is a view of the Russian steppe that appealed to the artist and he has captured a beautiful moment in high summer and at the end of the day.

Vasili Kirillovich Nechitailo  (1915 – 1980)


Vasili Kirillovich Nechitailo was born in Nikolaevskoe, the province of Rostov-on-Don, in 1915. In 1931 he began his study of art at the Krasnodar Art Tekhnikum where he remained until 1935. In 1935 the artist entered into preparatory art courses at the Surikov Institute. After approximately two years of preperation, Nechitailoenrolled in the Moscow Art Institute as a full time student under the tutelage of the revered professor Gerasimov. He attended the Institute from 1937 to 1942. The artist then enrolled in their graduate program in 1942. In 1943, while still attending the Surikov, Nechitailo and 11 other academically accomplished artists were evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the duration of the war. It looked like Moscow might fall to the Germans so the Soviet government decided to evacuate their most promising artists who they saw as cultural assets. He returned and completed his graduate degree in 1944. He was honored with the opportunity to teach at the Surikov Institute from 1948 until 1956. Vasili Nechitailo began to actively exhibit in 1945. Nechitailo died in Moscow in 1980.


Awards: (partial list)

  •  Named “People’s Artist of Russia”, 1965
  •  Repin Prize, 1971
  •  Member-correspondent of the Soviet Association of Artists, 1972


Exhibitions: (partial list)

  • 1946- All-Union Art Exhibition”, Moscow
  • 1947- All-Union Art Exhibition”, Moscow
  • 1949- All-Union Art Exhibition”, Moscow
  • 1951- All-Union Art Exhibition”, Moscow
  • 1955- All-Union Art Exhibition”, Moscow
  • 1960- “Soviet Russia”, Moscow
  • 1964- Solo exhibit, Moscow
  • 1982- Solo exhibit, Moscow
  • 2003-2004- “In the Russian Tradition” Smithsonian Institution, his work Nude, Masha was included in the show


Collections: (partial list)

  • Krasnodar Art Museum
  • Historical Museum, Moscow, On Red Square
  • Tretyakov Gallery (Museum), Moscow
  • State Russian Museum
  • Kiev Museum of Russian Art
  • Russian Art Museum, St. Petersburg
  • Museum of Russian Art, Minnesota
  • Russia Artists’ Union

Additional Information:

Nechitailo is a cousin of the famous Kugach family of artists.

“He understood the beauty of the process of painting, and the techniques he developed, in many ways, defined the classical standards that continued the cultural traditions of Russian Realist art painted with an impressionistic style. His landscapes are distinguished for their composition and color harmony as well as for their exquisite and laconic style. His portraits of laborers, all healthy and strong, reflect his optimistic view of the typical Soviet village and collective farm after the war. As one critic has noted, his extraordinary paintings of people form a collective portrait of his time.”







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