About Friends, art, contemporary...


Shuvalov’s creative biography includes many exhibitions, including several personal ones. The most significant one for him personally became the exhibition of 1992 at the Vera Mukhina High School of Art and Industry, St. Petersburg between the very walls where he became a teacher and an artist. From 1963 to 2008 Shuvalov taught at the School of Arts; it was here that he made the journey from teacher to professor. Those who spoke and those who came to see the exhibition left notes in a book of responses, relating fairly and kindly to his work. One read, “A very sunny artist, clearly, and the same as a person — warm and kind.” The note is brief, but altogether true. Such an evaluation of the exhibition was effectively dictated by the quality of the works presented. There were not very many of them (49), but the exposition enjoyed a sense of unity owing to the excellent selection of works. There were landscapes and still lifes (in oils and watercolors) that spoke elegantly about their author’s creative attachments. The responses included a poem by E. Lazarev, dedicated to the master:

The hour has come; among the halls of Stieglitz
Shuvalov has laid out his canvases —
Not canvases, but the living vistas of Rus’
Shine forth in sad thoughtfulness.
They are not painted with his large brush.
Rather with his vast master’s soul —
And all need of a palette falls away.
Dimitry mixed his colors on his heart…”

I wish to join in with these beautiful words. I am proud of my father; he was always and will always be my Teacher. As an artist and a person.

Teaching in Germany, I try to pass on to my students what I managed to learn from my father. Unfortunately, we rarely managed to work together.

I will never forget our summer trips together to Ukraine, where he created his wonderful series of landscapes of the Dnieper, and of Ukrainian gardens with their rich, bright greenery and abundance of fruit. I especially loved painting still lifes together with my father at his studio on Malaya Morskaya Street.

I am grateful to fate for those moments of shared creativity and creation.

I try to pass on his teaching methods, his knowledge, his love for and interest in people to my students in Saxony. Any time I have a new group of students, I begin by telling them about two Saxons that played a significant role in Russian culture. The first is Baron Stieglitz, whose support allowed for the founding of the School for Technical Drawing in St. Petersburg in 1876; the second is Maximilian von Messmacher, the architect and first director of the School. Their brainchild has been renamed a few times since then. Now the Academy again bears the name of its founder. It played an important role in the fate of our family. I studied here; my father taught here 45 years.

For the past two decades we have been separated by thousands of kilometers, but I knew that at any time I could call him and ask his advice. I miss that now very much.

The foundation of my teaching is the Russian school of art — unsurpassed in method and in depth of tradition — and the advice of my father.

Many of my students sent along their deepest respects to my father and thanked him, since, as they say, without him, I would not have been.

My mother and I are very pleased at the publication of a book dedicated to his work. We wish to thank all those who have participated in its preparation.