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MOISEI NAPPELBAUM (1869-1958) Portrait of Boris Pasternak, Moscow, 1930s

Inscription in Russian «Boris Pasternak, Photograph by M.S. Nappelbaum», signature of the photographer’s grandson (on the reverse) Gelatin silver print According to the the photographer’s grandson, printed by the author for an exhibition in 1950s; very rare photograph 35.5 х 24 cm Moses Nappelbaum (1869 - 1958) was a Soviet photographer who created his own creative manner of performing studio portraits. In January 1918, he made a superb portrait of Lenin - one of the best in photographic Leniniana. In the same years he made a number of portraits of Lenin’s comrades-in-arms. Among them are especially successful F. Dzerzhinsky, Vatslav Vorovsky, Lunacharsky, as well as Stalin. In the 1920s and 1930s, he photographed the country’s leading figures: artists, writers, painters and scientists. Nappelbaum adopted a special method of working with light, which allowed him to create an austere and at the same time bright and authentic image of the portrayed person. Nappelbaum is a master of compositional solutions and fine nuance. Though seemingly simple, Nappelbaum’s portraits are full of inner drama, typical of the Russian artistic tradition. Nappelbaum artfully combines elements of formalism and an understanding of photography as a document.
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