Lev Samsonovich Razumovsky
(1926 – 2006)
sculptor, painter, graphic artist, medal artist,
designer of children’s toys, writer
Lev Razumovsky was born in Leningrad and had completed 7 grades of secondary school by June 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. He very nearly died during the first winter of the Leningrad siege, but survived, in his own words, “thanks to the courage, kindness, and саrе of my family.” In August 1942, he was evacuated with an orphanage where his mother and sister worked, to a village in central Russia.
He was drafted to the army in 1943 at the age of 17, seriously wounded at the front line in 1944, losing his left arm and spending 10 months in hospitals.
After the war he entered the Leningrad College of Art and Design to become a sculptor. He studied there for eight years, as did all students of the postwar generation, to catch up with basic school subjects. His diploma work, the Pilot (cast bronze,1953) was installed in Victory Park in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and is still there today.
In 1955, Lev was admitted to the Union of Artists of Russia. In sculpture, he worked in various genres: monuments, park sculpture, portraits, compositions, small-size sculpture, and medals. War and the Holocaust were major themes in his work.
Lev was also a professional toy designer: his models were produced in large quantities by toy factories of Leningrad and Moscow, and have been loved by several generations of children.
His memoirs about bitter experiences during the siege and in the Soviet army were published in the 1990s. He also wrote about 100 short stories.
Lev Razumovsky took part in numerous exhibitions – local, national and international. His works are displayed in Russian museums and in private collections in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Israel, and the US.
Comments on the documentary
Alan and I spent what turned out to be a very special evening watching the film about Lev Razumovsky and reading as much as we could (in English) on the excellent website dedicated to him. As our evening progressed we felt more privileged to have his life, work and personality opened up to us.
During our visit to St Petersburg last year we were introduced to Lev's art when we visited Elena in her flat. That occasion felt special enough.
But the film so intelligently and sensitively put together does so much more. Hearing and seeing him describe his youth, his only-near survival of the Leningrad siege and then the anti-semitic bullying he endured in the second world war are really humbling.
Then to see his sculpture and appreciate his determination to make his disability inconsequential are even more humbling and inspiring.
How he managed, through and after all those experiences of inhumanity and desperate physical hardship to maintain such a loving, playful and generous spirit in his work, his family life and friendships is quite extraordinary.
No wonder Lev's daughters have been so determined to make sure his life, work and personality are on record for generations to come. The production team have made the film and website so well. The editing is just right - interviews are the right length and the chronology of his work and life cut with his family relationships keep our interest while building an all-round picture of someone who was all-round extraordinary. There should be if not one statue of him in St Petersburg then at least as many as there are of Pushkin!
Please accept our congratulations on this work you have done and our heart-felt thanks for introducing us to Lev Razumovsky as the best of human beings.
I viewed the documentary: impressive and interesting in the same time! Interesting because I learned a lot about his live, in particular during the horrible years during the siege of Leningrad. Impressive because of the personality of Lev Razumovsky and his work. You organised a monumental statute for Lev and he deserved it!
My words are not able to adequately express my admiration. I have gained so many valuable lessons watching this documentary of an inspiring man. Thank you so much for sharing the film and for your accomplishment in producing it.
on the documentary "Sculptor Lev Razumovsky"
I've just watched it from start to finish - joyously poignant, sorrowful yet triumphant. A man of extraordinary gifts and courage anchored by a love of wife, his children, and friends. It's the best of Russia and I felt privileged to have watched it and will watch it again. I was deeply moved by the film - so well made, good musical background, well-produced, extraordinary footage from WW2. It needs a wide showing on TV, it’s that good.