Today we came across this stunning painting. Titled Prisoners of War, its authorship belongs to famous Belarusian artist, Honored Artist of Belarus—Anton Barkhatkov.
After looking at this artwork for a while, we thought about sources of inspiration. It’s a generally known idea that creative people produce their best works during the most difficult periods of their life (not always, but in most cases, it’s so). Why? What’s the secret of this state of mind? We believe there is no definite answer. And the same can be said about topics that inspire artists, writers and other representatives of creative professions.
For instance, this fantastic work, created in 1989, was obviously inspired by the Second World War, the war that didn’t pass by the artist. In 1940, Anton Barkhatkov was called up to the Red Army, where he continued to practice painting and participated in exhibitions. In the same year, his works were shown for the first time at the regional exhibition of the artists from the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army in Kharkiv. In 1941, the same paintings could be seen at the All-Union exhibition in the Red Army Center in Moscow.
Barkhatkov participated in the Great Patriotic War. He fought in the lines and the partisan unit “For Soviet Belarus” in Mogilev area. And he still created portraits of his fellow soldiers and painted landscapes in that harsh time. In 1943, the artist was recalled to Moscow, to the Partisan Movement Headquarters. He was appointed a deputy director of the upcoming exhibition of Belarusian artists dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the BSSR, which opened in the State Tretyakov Gallery in 1944 and where he also got acquainted with an outstanding Belarusian artist, landscape master, Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya. This exhibition was then continued in Minsk in 1945 and marked the beginning of a new collection of the Belarusian State Art Museum, which was ruined during the war, in the organization of which they both took part.
After the end of the war, he came to Minsk, worked as the Head of the Art Department in the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War and as a painter in the State Picture Gallery (now, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus) for a short period of time.