ROSPHOTO presents an exhibition by Ilya Narovlyansky, an iconic Soviet photographer whose work is undeservedly little known to the public.

Photographer Ilya Narovlyansky lived at the turn of epochs. He was born in Petrograd, studied in Leningrad and ended his life in St. Petersburg. The author wrote about his youth, “I was born in 1921, I remember the great flood in 1924 <…>, I remember the times of the New Economic Policy — the abundant food market on Sennaya Square, horse-drawn carriages running along the wooden and paved Nevsky and Voznesensky avenues. <…> I remember Leningrad under the Siege, I remember the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra perform Dmitry Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony in the Grand Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonia on 9 August 1942, the hardest year of all.”

From the early 1950s on, the photographer worked for the Leningrad branch of the TASS Agency. To shoot reportage, he had to follow the canons of official Soviet photography that demanded a “perfect” picture. But even in his earliest works one can already discern the unique traits of the future master’s style.
In his Petersburg series, presented at the exhibition, Ilya Narovlyansky reveals himself as a true artist. His photographs possess a special narrative quality. The artist works subtly with light, creating images that have a sense of volume and extraordinary depth. Within the space of the frame a special artistic world is born, unfolding an original story of the mysterious and slow life of the city.
The exhibition includes more than 90 photographs taken in the 1940–1980s. Visitors can also get acquainted with the collection of Ilya Narovlyansky’s personal belongings.

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