Meanwhile, we continue to tell you about artists whose life and artistic career was greatly changed under the influence of such a tragic event as World War II. Many of them lost their families or homes, or even lives.
Although the artist, we’d like to tell you about today, had to stop his studies with the outbreak of war, it was also the time when he began his professional artistic career. We’re talking about Boyukagha Mirzazade.
This Azerbaijani artist was a follower of the art traditions, who created his still lifes, landscapes, and portraits all of which showed his unique ability of masterly use of color and composition. He was also known as a talented set decorator.
It was a mixture of hard work and a strong passion for art that brought him success. Boyukagha Mirzazade lost his mother at a young age, and his father was partially sighted, so Boyukagha had to help him to support the family from early childhood. That’s why his progress in studies was modest. Nevertheless, the boy showed abilities for art as he drew very well. A couple of his friends who studied in art school, Mikayil Abdullayev and Mukhtar Jafarov, inspired him to pursue his education in the area. So, in 1935, Mirzazade entered Baku Technical School of the Arts. Although his father would like his son to become a doctor, he supported the initiative.
A year after graduation with honors, Boyukagha Mirzazade came to Moscow where he passed an entrance examination at the Surikov Art Institute (currently the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture). Unfortunately, World War II brought his studies to a stop, and he didn’t finish the education. However, he received enough to become a prominent artist in the future.
At the beginning of the Second World War, he wasn’t admitted to the army because of the poor eyesight, but he struggled in the rear drawing anti-fascist and agitprop posters which inspired people on victory and heroism.
As to the artistic activity of the period, Mirzazade experimented with techniques, themes, and genres throughout the decade. The main subject of his oeuvre of the time was his native country, its history, architecture, and heroes. The composition Babek’s Great March dedicated to one of Azerbaijan’s national heroes, Babek, was among the examples. Presented at the 1943 exhibition “Works by Azerbaijani Artists during the Great Patriotic War” in Moscow, it attracted the viewers’ attention.