Barto Rostislav
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   Rostislav Barto was born in Moscow in 1902. In the early 1920s he attended a workers’ school (former modern school) and seriously prepared to become a professional artist. Next he enrolled in the VKhUTEMAS graphic arts department, where V. Favorsky taught lithography, I. Nivinsky etching and P. Pavlinov drawing. However, his acquaintance with A. Shevchenko overshadowed them all: the tyro artist transferred to the VKhUTEMAS painting department.
   He did his graduation project ‘Tea Picking’ (1929) under Shevchenko’s supervision, relying on the material brought from their joint trips to the Caucasus. This passion for the Orient and the South was to manifest itself repeatedly in Barto’s future works. He associated with the ‘Painters’ Guild’ and then joined the ‘Being’association. Members of the latter association (for the most part VKhUTEMAS graduates) sought to fill what Moscow’s prerevolutionary group the ‘Knave of Diamonds’ did with new content. Before the Second World War broke out, Barto had managed to visit Khiva, Ferghana, Bukhara and Samarkand, that is, places to where many Soviet artists would be evacuated soon. In a way they would have to address the Oriental theme, whereas Barto took it up of his own free will. Barto staged his first solo show in 1933.
   By the late 1940s Barto decided to try his hand at autolithography. He travelled a lot, visiting the Crimea, Armenia, Georgia and Transcarpathia; drew and did oils, gouaches and watercolours. He held another solo show in 1956 and in the decades that followed he often contributed his works to exhibitions. He died in 1974. Barto’s works are today on permanent display at the State Tretiakov Gallery and can be found in high-profile museum collections of Russia, including the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts of Moscow and the State Russian Museum of Petersburg.