Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vladimir Dimitrov

woman in front of flowers and fruit
other detail unknown
Fair use

Vladimir Dimitrov (1882-1960), was a Bulgarian painter, draughtsman and teacher. He is considered one of the most talented 20th century Bulgarian painters and probably the most remarkable stylist in Bulgarian painting in the post Russo-Turkish War era. The main topic which he explores is the relation between Man and Nature. Although he does not consider himself religious, he regards Nature as governed by a supreme spirit. He shares that the main purpose of his paintings is to elevate man and humanity, to bring it closer to harmony, represented by this omnipresent spirit.

He is famous not solely because of his paintings but also because of his lifestyle. His family was poor but even after he became famous, he was trying to give away all of his possessions and money, living in poverty and asceticism, wearing old clothes, never shaving and eating only vegetarian food. This is the reason why even while alive, many people believed that he was a saint and showed great affection for him.

He was born in Frolosh, near Kyustendil and started his career as a clerk. In 1903 he enrolled in the School of Drawing in Sofia where he had been called the Master (Maystora) for the first time. In the period before and after the First World War he travelled extensively, visited Russia, Italy, France, Germany and the USA. After that he spent almost all of his life in the village of Shishkovtzi.

He was an outstanding artist who included bright colors within his art and today we consider his artwork a fauvist type rather than an expressionist set. He uses as well a wide range of post-impressionist techniques, but his works always keep a strong bound with reality and he tries to simplify many of the figures and compositions to make them accessible for a wider public. The main expressive strength does not come from the clarity of the images but from the colors. His portraits and compositions have expressive and vivid color, idealistic quality of the image, profound symbolic strength and originality.