Visiting Grandfather by Rashid Mukhametbareyevich Nurmuhametov


39 1/2 × 29 in
Framed: 47 ¾ x 38 in.
Oil on canvas
Though at first glance it appears to be a simple domestic scene, a young woman visiting her grandfather, the work of Russian realist Rashid M. Nurmuhametov (Russian, 1925-1986) is a manifestation of the old and new; it represents a time of change and a search for national identity. In this masterful composition, the young woman has prepared tea for her grandfather, who sits at the end of the table. And like the frayed edges of the table clothe, antique dishes, and simple wood furniture, he is a representation of an older generation, showing the marks of time. In direct juxtaposition, the granddaughter evokes a sense of youth and forward momentum. She imbues optimism - her garments, painted in bright, saturated colours, and the direction of her gaze as she looks off into the distance, seemingly removed from her current time and place, all contradictory to the cool tones that depict the space around her, as well as the base of the wall clock, which has been kept from view by the artist, suggesting time may be standing still.

The art of Nurmuhametov continued the traditions of the Bashkir artist K.S. Davletkildeyev, whose paintings showed detailed the national life and Bashkir people, though the heroes of Nurmuhametov’s works are different from those created by early Bashkir artists. His portrait and genre paintings were representative of the Bashkir fine arts movement that came to define domestic art during the mid-century; works that were true to the national character, but with a sense of optimism, humanity, and respect.

The Russian realist artist studied painting at Ufa Arts College in 1940, and moved on to graduate of the famed Surikov Institute in Moscow. A celebrated artist, Nurmuhametov was the People's Artist of RSFSR, Honored Artist of Bashkir ASSR, and Salavat Yulaev Prize Winner.