In the XIX century, fine art in Central Asia manifested itself in particular in the works of miniaturists of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Kokand. It is known that the outstanding enlightener of the XIX century, Ahmad Donish (1827-1897), a poet, philosopher, calligrapher, astronomer was a talented artist, as evidenced by his surviving drawings: a miniature "Poet and Artist" made for handwritten edition of Abdukadir Bedil "Four Elements" and a satirical miniature depicting the Mirshaba - the chief of the city police. His miniatures are distinguished by a thorough drawing, local paints, a clear continuous contour, and graphic handwriting. His pupil Abdulkhalik-Makhmum also got his name as the talented painter of insects and flowers.
The aspiration of the Central Asian people to an artistic representation of reality is also evidenced by the fact that during the Turkestan exhibition in 1886, a Tashkent resident Tokhta-Sadyk Khojaev showed sculptural images of a horse and a deer manually carved from alabaster with no sculptural tools and incisors, just using a simple knife. This exhibition demonstrated models of houses made by Tashkent craftsmen: European, two-story, made of ganch, and two Uzbek houses made of very skillfully and similar to reality.
The famous Uzbek ganch-carver Tashpulat Arsankulov (1882-1962) used ganch to make the portrait bas-reliefs-medallions of A.V. Suvorov and M.I. Kutuzov in Tashkent building of the Military Assembly (District Officers' Club).
In 1915, Tashkent lithography released the epic poem "Gor-Ogly" illustrated by Sirojiddin Makhsum Siddiki, a painter and draftsman. This is the only Uzbek artist whose work related to typographic printing in the late XIX - early XX centuries.
The fine arts of Turkestan of the last third of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century were represented by Russian artists, mainly pupils of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Their work reflected the history and modern reality, nature and life of Central Asia.
The first and most significant artist, who reflected the life of Turkestan was V.V. Vereshchagin. Turkestan paintings were a true artistic discovery of this region for many countries and peoples. The artist created a humanistic, holistic, multilateral picture of the cultural and domestic life in the Turkestan cycles. A number of his works demonstrated a high building culture and amazing decorative craftsmanship of Central Asian architects and folk craftsmen.
One may talk of the first sprouts of fine art and fine writing in the region after Turkistan was visited by artists and teachers who taught drawing in the secondary schools. This contributed to some artistic environment in Turkestan.
Popular Tashkent landscape painter Sergey Petrovich Yudin (1858-1933) headed the theater group of railway workers and painted scenery for Tashkent Amateur theaters. After finishing the the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, he came to Tashkent in 1902. S. Yudin - master of the solar outdoor etude. He gained the greatest popularity with landscape pictures painted in the tradition of academic landscape painting. The landscape of S. Yudin "Winter Evening" painted in 1910, one feels a lively direct contact of the artist with nature and considerable skill in transmitting a light-air perspective. His mountain and plain landscapes present spatial plans, play of light and shadow with a great clarity and sharpness.
A native of Samarkand, Leonard Leonardovich Bure (1887-1943) showed interest in painting from youth. In 1904, he left for Moscow and started began to study painting, then continued it in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. After receiving a degree, he returned to his native land, where he not only created, but also taught at the Samarkand Art College to his dying day.
Bure's landscape painting was limited to sketches from nature. His architectural landscapes are notable for truth coloration and keen sense of color. Bure avoided the pattern when selecting a point of view on an architectural monument. He always found new angles. The collection includes three architectural landscapes: "Labi Hovuz" 1907; "Madrasah Courtyard", 1910 and last year’s acquisition - "Samarkand", 1929, painted in the artist’s favorite cities - Bukhara and Samarkand.
The life and work of one of the most famous artists of Uzbekistan, painter and poet Alexander Nikolaevich Volkov (1886-1957) are attached to Fergana. The national artist of Uzbekistan was born in Fergana, studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, taught at the art college in Tashkent.
A. Volkov followed the traditions of Russian artists but mastered the experience of the French cubists. He was consumed by the idea of searching for own style in painting. Volkov strove to combine a unique pictural system, a peculiar rhythm and rich eastern brilliance with the Paris school techniques of the first quarter of the XX century.
The autobiography of A. Volkov testifies that from 1916 to 1928 his paintings' themes were teahouses, caravans of camels, the old city, etc He treated these themes and subjects in a cubic and expressionistic view.
The picture "Pomegranate teahouse" stored in the Tretyakov Gallery was painted in 1924, when he was keen on the cubism. In 1968, it was exhibited in Paris and had a widespread response in the Paris press. It was demonstrated on French television.
"The Autumn Landscape" included in the Bank's collection was painted in 1931 in impressionism style. Complex color and light gradation is very outstanding here.
The artist Alexander Vladimirovich Nikolaev, who became a part of Uzbekistan's fine art history by the name of Usto Mumin (1897-1957) loved ancient culture and the richest popular art of Central Asia.
A student of K. Malevich, Usto Mumin came to Samarkand in 1921. He was struck up by magnificent monuments of architecture, decorative clothing and jewelry. As Usto Mumin became familiar with the regional culture, he was interested in the art of national masters and the legacy of classical Central Asian miniatures more. In 1925, he moved to Tashkent. A highly talented artist, the greatest master of graphics and painting, who tuned into the beat of national, popular culture of Uzbekistan, originality and wealth of the Central Asian pattern, strove to make Italian and Russian artistic traditions with the traditions of Uzbek art in an integral.
The Bank's collection includes graphical pattern "Needle-women", 1930, made with ink.
Maxim Evstafiyevich Novikov (1886-1982) is the artist similar in art nature to S. Yudin. He graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Novikov entered the history of Uzbekistan's fine arts as a landscapist lyricist and narrator. The collection includes his two paintings - "The Construction of Canal" and "The Tent City" describing the construction of the Great Fergana Canal.
Many artists painted sketches and drawings during construction of the Great Fergana Canal and the Chirchik Chemical Combine. They include Konstantin Pavlovich Cheprakov (1907-1972), a graduate of the Tashkent Painting Studio and Alexei Fedorovich Podkovyrov (1889-1957), a graduate of the Penza Art School.
Two portraits of the construction best workers - Nurnapasov and Sultanov (both in 1947) are the most significant in the collection. Cheprakov made these portrait sketches from life. The artist confidently and expressively conveys portraits of that time representatives by free lines.
Sketch by A. Podkovyrov "The Builders of the Fergana Canal", 1939, is one more page in the history of large constructions in Uzbekistan.
The development of graphic art in Uzbekistan started with typography and book-printing.
In the twenties, L. Bure, M. Kurzin, V. Rozhdestvensky, A. Volkov, Usto-Mumin (A. Nikolayev), V. Yeremyan actively worked for poster and satirical pixes.
Mikhail Ivanovich Kurzin (1888-1957) is a complex and interesting phenomenon in the painting and graphics of Uzbekistan in 1920-1930s. He arrived in the Republic in 1923 and settled in Tashkent. He received a degree in the Kazan and Moscow schools of painting, sculpture and architecture.
After arrival in Tashkent, he Kurzin is actively involved in the artistic life of the city. He worked as a scene-designer in the theater, worked in a newspaper and taught in an art studio.
In 1924, the name of Ural Tansykbaev (1904-1974) appeared in Uzbek press for the first time. A newspaper reviewer told about the club exhibition and reported on the extraordinary young worker U. Tansykbaev. The note says that the works of Tansykbaev present a desire to reflect the national life, Turkestan nature and great artistic flair. He skillfully and keenly describes a village life in details: yurtas and their inhabitants, camel caravans, mountains and valleys. Tansykbaev’s first works were predominantly made with charcoal and pencil.
He received the first degree in Tashkent and then in the Penza Art School.
Ural Tansykbaev, the master of epic landscape painting, who inspired with nature since the beginning of his career, tried to improve his skills. He strove for expressive simplicity and such a coloristic structure that would embody the poetic essence of the landscape motive with the greatest depth and clarity in landscape sketches and designs.
Probably, the critics called him "the head of the Uzbek colorists" for this reason.
Nikolai Georgievich Karakhan (1900-1970), a pupil of S. Yudin, was close to A. Volkov and U. Tansykbayev that time.
N. Karakhan was admired with the nature of mountainous Uzbekistan. His sketches and paintings developed stories related to the seasonal field work of rural workers. He varied the motives of spring and autumn, morning and evening combining plein-air and the genre into one picturesque integral. He artistically conveys sun-drenched nature.
A. Volkov's student, one of the first women artists, Shamsiroy Khasanova (1917-1956), is represented with a portrait of a student at an engineering school. Khasanova was interested in her historical past, the life of outstanding representatives of science, culture, and contemporaries. He contributed a lot in the development of a historical portrait in Uzbekistan.