Peter Alexandrovich Nilus

11 03 2016

Pyotr Alexandrovich Nilus (Russian: Пётр Александрович Нилус; 20 February [O.S. 8 February] 1869 Podolia, Ukraine – 23 May 1943 Paris)[1][2] was a Russian Empire impressionist painter and writer who emigrated to France as the Soivet Union was formed.

Pyotr was born to a russified Swiss family in their family estate in Podolsk guberniya. At the age of seven he moved to Odessa where he studied at the local Peter and Paul real school and attended art classes of Kyriak Kostandi.[1] Then he attended the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg and participated in exhibitions of Peredvizhniki.[3]

In 1920 he emigrated to Paris where he worked until his death in 1943. Pyotr Nilus was friend with Aleksandr Kuprin, Ivan Bunin. For the first years in Paris they lived in the same house. They led an intensive correspondence; there were published more than one hundred letters of Pyotr Nilus to Bunin[4]

Pyotr Nilus is often confused with his relative, notorious antisemite and the first publisher of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Sergei Nilus. In fact Pyotr was not antisemitic and in 1906 together with Korney Chukovsky actively participated in the efforts to help Jewish children, victims of the Odessa pogrom.


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