Corinne de Laittre Browne

Collection of Paintings for Sale by
Alexey Krasnovsky
All Oil on Canvas

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Alexey Krasnovsky

Alexey Krasnovsky’s mother, Valentina, held her own mother while she died of pneumonia contracted cutting ice in the Neva River during the Siege of Leningrad (1941-44). Soon she would hold her daughter as she died of starvation. After her husband came home on leave from his submarine post, Valentina, pregnant, left the city with her deranged father, traveled on foot and by train to Kazakhstan where Alexey was born. At war’s end, Valentina carried him back to Leningrad. She also carried a barrel of oil to trade for lodging as they had lost their home.

Alexey’s father was posted to the Black Sea where they lived first in a cave, then in a lighthouse from which the boy could see the water, a major element in his painting.

In Leningrad as a teenager, Alexey studied art, haunted the Hermitage, attended Tavrichesky College and studied under famed Constructivist Alexander Pavlovitch Zaitzev. Served three years in the Army on the Finnish border and learned to sleep in snow.

Not a Party member, he was forbidden to exhibit his work formally. He, his wife and small child lived in a communal apartment and scratched out a living. Finally, one day in Moscow, they ran into the American Embassy, pleaded for and were granted asylum. The Tolstoy Foundation helped them move to Vienna. It was a dream. Friends, food, appreciation for Alexey’s work. Then, again thanks to the Foundation, a small apartment in Queens, New York. Factory jobs, skyscapes and the light he loved.

Alexey never stopped missing Valentina, the small, fierce, deeply religious woman who had survived war, starvation, unspeakable loss, and attacks on her religion. The police used to line people up and ask, “Are you a believer?” Some lied and said “No” in order to survive. Valentina always said “yes,” and survived and lived at last in the simple apartment where she kept her icons, prayed for the world and for her son who was able to visit her one time before she died.

His marriage failed, in 1991 Alexey moved to Woodstock, NY where a gallery exhibited his work. Collectors, including myself, began to acquire his paintings. He began to travel – Jamaica, Mexico, Portugal, France, Texas. He painted as though feeding a hunger – oils and watercolors of unspeakable beauty.

He settled at last in Ireland where important collectors abound and where he died in 2016.

He is buried in Saint Petersburg next to Valentina.

I have a large collection of his beautiful work I want to share with the world.