Vladimir Nasonov was born in St. Petersburg in 1957. His talent was clear from a young age, exhibiting work while still in school. During his military service he provided artwork for the army, using his free time to study the works of the Renaissance Masters, and French painters of the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1978 Nasonov left the army, but restrictions for artists in the Soviet Union made it impossible to earn a living, forcing Nasonov and his wife to move to Hungary, where he sold miniatures on the street to tourists. However, in 1986, with the lifting of the Iron Curtain, Nasonov was able to freely sell his work to foreign tourists. Collectors from the USA, Canada and Europe began to purchase his paintings for their private collections, and in 1992 a Russian art dealer began to bring Nasonov's work to the United States.
Nasonov has a particular love of the French artists of The "Belle Epoque", and turn of the Century Paris. Many of his canveses show this influence of French Impressionism. Depicting the busy streets of the city, and its inimitable atmosphere during that period.
By contrast Nasonov's landscapes are often depictions of russian village life. Though of the same late nineteenth, and early twentieth century period. His winter landscapes, however are suffused with symbolism and mysticism. Looking at his paintings one has a feeling that you enter not a real forest, but one from a Russian or Ukrainian folk tale. Nasonov has a talent for creating the feel of great Russian literature in his work. To use a quotation from Alexander Pushkin, "Here is a Russian spirit, it smells Russian here."
Vladimir Nasonov's technique is confident and free. Quick decisive strokes making a hint of figures, and vague contours creating a depth to the background. A feeling of light and air has an important role in his paintings. The play of sunlight on clothes, and tree branches, the glow of street lamps and shop windows. Thick, raised strokes in the foreground add texture, and bring the painting alive.