Hanoi (VNA) - As part of our Russian working visit, Vietnamplus journalists stop by at the house of late artist Alexei Kuznetsov, who was in fond memories of many Vietnamese renowned artists studying in Hanoi University of Fine Arts from 1960 to 1962. There we meet and have a nice talk with the artist’s daughter Olga Cheskidova about the late artist.

Alexei Kuznetsov (1916-1993) was former Dean of St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts under the former Soviet Union, now Russia. Despite his position, Alexei Kuznetsov lived an unexpectedly humble life. He refused to take advantage of benefits by the Soviet government and dedicated his whole life to training students on fine arts.

Given the intimate friendship between the country and Vietnam, he was sent to Vietnam from 1960 to 1962 to teach the first and second cohorts of the Hanoi University of Fine Arts.

As an experienced and dedicated lecturer, he provided many Vietnamese artists with fundamental concepts of fine arts and oil painting.

His dedication to fine arts training career has left deep impressions among his students at of the Hanoi University of Fine Arts. The impressions have been noted down in an autograph book that his daughter Olga Cheskidova carefully keeps until today as a priceless keepsake.

The notebook is among various keepsakes of the late artist Alexei Kuznetsov. Mentioning a painting of President Ho Chi Minh by Alexei Kuznetsov, which were donated to Vietnam’s Presidential Palace Historical Site, she says “My father drew many paintings about Vietnam, including landscape, sketch and portrait ones. All of which were left in Vietnam but two paintings about President Ho Chi Minh. One painting is now kept at Vietnam’s Presidential Palace Historical Site. I understood how these paintings were important to my dad so I decided to make their replicas. For my dad, the paintings were his fond memories with President Ho Chi Minh that he would not ever forget.”

Late Russian artist and fond memories with Vietnam hinh anh 1Portrait of President Ho Chi Minh working by Alexei Kuznetsov – A replica by his daughter Olga Cheskidova (Photo: Hong Quan/Vietnam+)

Pointing to a portrait of President Ho Chi Minh working, Olga Cheskidova says, “President Ho Chi Minh were working while my dad drew this painting. After he finished drawing, the President gave him that table as a souvenir. My dad brought the table home and had wonderful tea times with other artists around the priceless table”.

“He always talked to his friends about how he had the precious table when drinking tea with them”, she adds.

Before the table and the other painting about President Ho Chi Minh were transferred to a Vietnamese collector in Russia, Olga and her family had always been carefully preserving them as they carry along a beautiful memory between their beloved family member, Alexei Kuznetsov and President Ho Chi Minh, whose personality was highly spoken by the late artist.

Olga Cheskidova recalls stories about President Ho Chi Minh that her father kept telling her when he was alive.

“He told me a lot about the President’s residence where grew numerous mango trees and sit a tranquil fish pond and a small house which surprised him about the simplicity. As my dad could speak French quite well so he spent much time speaking with President. He said President Ho Chi Minh was humble and humane. The President has such luminous eyes that he still could not nail it in his paintings,” says Olga.

Olga and her family also keep some Vietnamese magazines and newspaper with articles about the late artist during his time in Vietnam.

Late Russian artist and fond memories with Vietnam hinh anh 2Alexei Kuznetsov’s keepsake about Vietnam (Photo: Hong Quan/Vietnam+)


Certificates and medals awarded to the late artist for his contribution in the friendship and solidarity between Vietnam and the former Soviet Union, including a friendship medal for “dedication to the cause of socialism building” awarded by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, are also among keepsakes that his wife and daughter carefully preserve.