May Rain
May Rain

Sidorov, Valentin Mikhailovich

1928 -

May Rain

Oil on vanvas

229 x 158cm


Signed and dated



Collection of the artist


Tretyakov Gallery in 2008 in Sidorov Restrospective


Valentin Sidorov, Moscow, 2008, p. 67, illustated(size given as 190 x 140cm, the paintings size before the artist extended it.)

Certificate from the artist

 Sidorov photo

The artist in his studio in Moscow circa 1980

On the occasion of Sidorov’s 80th birthday the Tretyakov Gallery organized a retrospective of his work and the curators wrote, “ Valentin Sidorov is one of the most celebrated artists in Russia today. Born in 1928 in the village of Sorokopenie, Sidorov has always had an understanding of the beauty and magnificence of nature in his heart. His family moved to Moscow in 1936 and Sidorov furthered his studies at the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture between the years of 1948 and 1952. Now celebrating his eightieth birthday, the Tretyakov Gallery hosted an exclusive exhibition to honor him in December 2008.

Russia and its picturesque landscapes have been the inspiration behind most of Sidorov’s works. While most artists aspired to paint portraits for the government, Valentin Sidorov steered away from these types of projects, concentrating only on the things that brought him joy, namely natural landscapes. He has received many honors and awards for his work, including the Silver Medal of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1972, being named the People’s Artist of Russia in 1979, the International M.A. Sholokhov Prize in 2000 and was named the People’s Artist of Ukraine in 2004. In 1987 he was voted to the position of President of the Russian Union of Artists, became a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and in 1998 he also signed on as a member of the Kyrgystan Academy of Fine Arts.

The Tretyakov Gallery has more than a hundred different pieces created by Valentin Sidorov on display, including some of his earliest work from the 1940’s and 1950’s, many of them were seen at the Tretyakov exhibition for the very first time. All the works in the collection focus on the countryside of Russia, its warmth, familiarity and its beauty. Spending most of his childhood with his grandmother in the Tver province, Sidorov took in all the unique features of the landscape. Sidorov believes that one should live close to and in harmony with nature, also trying to live his life as his grandmother reminded him to, by seeing with his heart.


Valentin Sidorov circa 1980

Even though Sidorov survived some of the darkest days in the history of Russia, his paintings bring only the most memorable, tranquil, recognizable and warming side of the country to life. His art brings a sense of tranquility and peace to those viewing the paintings and reminds those who have become prisoners of the bustling concrete jungles that beyond the city borders and rush of everyday life awaits a world of beauty and natural wonder that they should explore.

May Rain

Two girls are depicted looking at the rain whilst sheltering under the gable of a simple wooden house.  One girl, wearing a white headscarf and pink dress leans forward to catch the rain in her hands, the other looks on.  A white curtain flickers in the wind.  This large scale and early work by Sidorov is well known and much loved in Russia where it has been exhibited many times and published in numerous books on the artist.  Sidorov delighted in such simple scenes painting country folk and children enjoying the type of life that he experienced when he used to stay with his grandmother in the Tver region as a boy.

The artist painted this work in 1960.  he kept it in his studio making changes to it over the years and it has been published as several different sizes.  The last major change was circa 2009 when the artist added two strips to the sides to get it it to his current dimensions.  He explained that he thinks the composition works better now and one of the reasons he never sold the work before was that he was never quite happy before with the previous composition.

Sidorov, President of the Russian Union of Artists for many years, and one of the leading exponents of the post-war Moscow school of Art was always passionate about the Russian landscape and his work is best encapsulated in simple village scenes such as 'May Rain.'  




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