Msta River

This is a reasonably early work and was probably painted at the Academic Dacha in the Tver region.

Founded as a charity for low-income artists in 1884, Academic Dacha became a creative studio under open skies for generations of Russian artists. Poetic beauty of local landscapes, the River Msta and Lake Mstinskoye, villages and their inhabitants served as sources of artistic inspiration. At the same time that this work was painted, Sergei's brother, Alexei, met his future wife Lidia. She lived in a nearby village and featured in some of the brothers' works.


Oil and Canvas


70 × 100 cm; 27½ × 39½ in.

Alexsei & Sergei Tkachev

Sergey (born 1922) and Alexey (born 1925) are famous Russian artists, both are full members of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, the People's Artists of the USSR, laureates of the Repin State Prize and the State Prize of the USSR. The brothers were born in a village in the Bryansk region. During the war, Sergey served in the army, while Alexey was working at a defence factory in the Urals. After the war, both Alexey and Sergey graduated from the famed Surikov Institute, where they studied under the outstanding artist S.V. Gerasimov. Since 1950, the brothers have worked together as one artist on the same canvases, creating some remarkable masterpieces. They have also worked independently, each of them developing their own individual styles. The Tkachev brothers' works are owned by the State Tretykov Gallery, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Tkachev Brothers Museum in Bryansk and other museums and private galleries. Their paintings have been exhibited at the Smithsonian International Gallery in Washington, D.C, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Throughout their career the Tkachev brothers documented village life in all its variety and simplicity. They enthusiastically recorded activities from ploughing and haymaking to harvesting and fishing, and observed lives of their neighbour villagers from birth and childhood to marriage and raising children. Russian countrywomen, whom the artists admired for their natural beauty, strength, and agility, occupied a central role in the Tkachevs' works. 

"Our paintings tell our life stories. The subjects are not fantasies, they all spring from real people, real events, and from stories told to us by our elders. Part of our souls are in each one".