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Alexander Toropin

Alexander Toropin

Alexander Toropin (10th of October 1924, Tver Governorate, Russian SFSR – 28th of May 1960, Riga, Latvian SSR) –  an artist.

Alexander Toropin was born in Potchinok village in a peasant family. He joined Comsomol in 1939 and in 1944 - the Communistic Party. In accordance with his own statement, he graduated from secondary school in Vitebsk in 1941. In 1940 (even before finishing secondary school) he enrolled into the Vitebsk Art College but managed to finish only the first year.  

In accordance with his own autobiography, when the war between the USSR and the Third Reich started, Toropin with his mother and brother was evacuated to the city of Ishim, where at first he worked as an artist, but later joined the armed forces as a volunteer. He did not participate in the military actions, but spent the whole war period studying at different technical army schools and courses. He was dismissed at the end of 1945.  

Alexander Toropin was awarded with a medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" (1945). 

In the october of 1945 he enrolled into the Latvian State Academy of Arts  and due to "outstanding successes" started his studies from the second year. He was especially interested in book illustration. In 1948-1950 Toropin had been cooperating with Latvian State Publishing House. 

Due to his illness (influenzal pneumonia made him stay in bed for three months) Toropin did not manage to graduate from the Academy in 1950. In the spring of that year he went to Tiraspol (Moldavian SSR) where his parents resided. His connection with art and publishing life of Moldova started at that point. In 1950-1951 he had been cooperating witht the State Publishing House of Moldova. In the december of 1950 Alexander Toropin became a membership candidate into the Union of Artists of Moldavian SSR.  

At the end of 1951 Toropin returned to Riga. He graduated from the Academy in the spring of 1952 and on the basis of his final work, was accepted as a membership candidate of the Union of Artists of Latvian SSR (on 27th of October). He also remained at the Academy as a teacher of drawing.  

On 11th of April 1953 Toropin was accepted as a full member of the Union of Artists of LSSR. He had been participating in exhibitions since 1951. Toropin mostly drew still lifes, portraits, multi-figure compositions. Especial place in his works belonged to sea and sea motiffs. He was constantly improving his skills, and also worked in the filed of children book illustrations. In 1955 Toropin received a medal "For Distinguished Labour". In the april of 1956 he became a member of the Art Council of the Union of Artists of LSSR, and in 1958 he entered the exhibition commission of the republic's Ministry of Culture.

His son Yuri also became an artist. 

Alexander Toropin died on 28th of May 1960 in Riga after a long-lasting illness. 

Alexander Malnach


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