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The Sorrowful Artist Gennady Dobrov

I want to introduce you the Russian sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov. All his portraits are drawn from real people. He preferred handmade pictorial art and no photo art. The artist Gennady Dobrov has died but he has remained alive in his sad pictures. Also Gennady Dobrov has remained in the memories of his contemporaries.

the Russian sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov

“He has melted the most bitter grief into pure gold art!”

I have already told you about the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) in the Soviet Union, which was the part of the Second World War, in the article How Children Died… The Russian sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov drew the disabled people who remained alive after that War.

(The photos are clickable.)

The Rest on the Way, the Takmyk Village of Omsk Region, 1975. The Russian soldier Alex Kurganov lives in the boarding house in the Siberian village Takmyk of Omsk region. He went by the war roads from Moscow to Hungary. At the end of the war, he was seriously wounded. He lost both his legs.

Gennady Dobrov drew people and things, which other people tried to avoid, or they were afraid of touching it. His pictures are shocking but they are not disgusting. The Russian sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov showed us the pain and grief for we would become wiser, more compassionate and merciful. He shared the pain for all of us. Perhaps some viewers have become better.

The Afghan war victims are in a psychiatric hospital in Afghanistan, 1989.

Killers pray and repent under God in a colony for criminals. The Kamyshin Town, Russia, 2003.

The Artist’s Childhood

When he was 9 years old, the future sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov met an invalid who had been crippled by the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union. The invalid was a mad beggar surviving in the streets of Omsk city. Perhaps those experience and impression influenced the Dobrov’s life choice.

The Russian Prophet, the Tara Village of Omsk Region, Russia, 1975

Gennady Dobrov grew up after the Great Patriotic War in Siberia. Many crippled men returned homes after the War. They were affected by physical and mental postwar illnesses. They were sick and destitute. Some of them refused returning their homes for not to be a burden to their families and friends. They tried surviving in streets independently. They drank vodka, begged for money and sang war songs.

The Soviet state was gathering them in the boarding houses. The most famous boarding house was located in a former monastery on the Valaam Island. But the number of crippled men was much more than any boarding house could accommodate. Moreover, many disabled people avoid living in the boarding house. They preferred a difficult freedom as beggars on the streets.

Besides, a psychiatric hospital was located near the Dobrov’s house. The artist’s mother had been treated there before the War. Now you can imagine the psychological atmosphere, the social environment, and the true background, which were totally affecting and influencing the future sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov.

A Postwar Mental Trauma, the Kostroma City, Russia, 2002

About 9 million of crippledpeople with disabilities came back from the fronts of the Great Patriotic War.

Here is the unknown soldier. Nobody knows who he was. This man lost his arms, legs, speech and hearing. He could only see and feel pain. This picture was taken on the Valaam Island in 1974. The Unknown Soldier had been living in the Valaam Boarding House for 29 years.

The Front Scout Viktor Popkov

The infantryman Alexander Ambarov defended the besieged Leningrad city.

The front lady-scout Seraphima Komissarova fought as a partisan in Belorussia (Belarus). She was frozen into the marsh on a winter night. Comrades cut her out the ice only in the morning. The lady-scout Seraphima Komissarova lost both her legs.

Alexander Podosenov left for the war front as a volunteer when he was 17 years old. He was wounded in his head with a bullet. He was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

The private soldier Ivan Zabara was telling how he had got the each medal. “There was the Hell, but we have survived and overcome!”

The private soldier Viktor Lukin fought as a partisan.

When the artist Gennady Dobrov drew Michael Kazatenkov, the soldier was 90 years old. He took part in three wars: the Russian-Japanese War (1904-1905), the World War I (1914-1918), and the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945).

The soldier Andrey Fomin was taking care of his multi-year open wound.

Vasily Lobachyov defended Moscow. He was seriously wounded. Both his legs and both his hands were completely amputated because of gangrene. His wife Lydia lost both her legs in the Great Patriotic War too. After the War, they gave birth to their two sons.

The private soldier Mikhail Gusel’nikov was wounded in the spine and was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

The sailor Alex Chkheidze lost his hands, vision and hearing. He called himself a man-prosthesis. Before his death, Alex Chkheidze wrote a book The Scout’s Notes.

Vladimir Eremin was writing a letter to his brother-soldier. Vladimir Eremin lost both his arms but he learnt writing with his foot. Moreover, after the War he graduated from the Law College.

Perhaps some of my readers are used to social adaptation of disabled people. But you should know the difficult and sometimes unfriendly atmosphere for disabled people in Russia.

Michael Koketkin served as a paratrooper. He lost both his legs. After the War he graduated from the institute and worked at a Statistical Office.

Boris Mileev lost both his arms. He learnt typewriting and worked as a typist.

This is a portrait of a woman with a burnt face. She has never been at a war front. When the woman knew her husband had been killed in the Brest Fortress she fainted into a burning furnace. When the sorrowful artist Gennady Dobrov drew her she was singing him beautiful folk songs.

Compiler Igor Shiryaev. Source

Dear readers!

This article presents my personal view. I don’t pretend I tell you any kind of absolute objectivity.

I love Russia and I love Russians. My personal slogan is “I love! I know! I tell!”

I’m very sorry for my bad English. First of all I try to tell you about lovely Russia, about the Russian mind and way of thinking. I don’t pretend I speak correct and fluent English.

I can help you in any projects related to Russia in the fields of deep non-standard tourism and independent journalism. Also you can buy some my texts and photos. Contact me by e-mail: editor@diff-view.com if you want. Welcome to real Russia!

Yours sincerely
Igor Shiryaev

The Internet mass media Different View. 01.09.2014