Skip to content

Maltsev, Peter Tarasovich

Мальцев, Петр Тарасович

Born December 8, 1907, Mariupol, Russian Empire; died 1993, Moscow, Russia

Petr Tarasovich Mal'tsev was born in what is today Mariupol, Ukraine. From 1921 to 1924, he studied at the Alexandrovskaia Professional Art School. In 1924, Mal'tsev continued artistic training in Moscow at VKhUTEMAS [Higher Art and Technical Studios] in the department of monumental art and graduated from there in 1930. He began to exhibit works professionally in 1928, the same year he contributed to the decoration of the VKhUTEMAS/VKhUTEIN Club in Moscow. While he produced such iconic propaganda posters during World War II, Krasnoarmeets, bud’ dostoin bogatyrskoi slavy tvoego naroda! [Red Army man, be worthy of the heroic glory of your people!] (1943), he was noted for his dioramas. He was one of the participating artists involved in the restoration of the Franz Rubo panorama mural Borodinskaia bitva [Battle of Borodino], a featured highlight of the Moscow Borodino Battle Museum.

Mal'tsev served in the Red Army in the Far East from 1939 to 1940 and, he served as a commander during the Soviet-Finnish Winter War. In 1941, he reportedly designed his first battle painting "After the Retreat of the White Finns". In 1949, he joined the studio of the Mitrofan B. Grekov military artists. Mal'tsev was a member of the USSR Union of Artists (from 1932), Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1958) and People's Artist of the RSFSR (1968).

In 1952, Maltsev did a collaborative diorama with the war artists A. Intezarovii and F. Usypenko called A.V. Suvorov's Alpine Trek. In 1959 he came together with the artists G. Marchenko and N. Prisekin to create another monumental diorama entitled Assault on Sapun Mountain. New military recruits take their oath of allegiance in front of this painting. His other famous dioramas include Exercises of the Black Sea Float in 1967, War Paratroopers in 1942 under Vyazma in 1970 (together with N. Prisekinii), and a panorama from 1982 titled The Crushing Defeat of the German Fascists in the Battle of Stalingrad (with the collective studio of M.B. Grekov). He is the artist of some of the most loved war paintings from the Soviet Union. He has a number of them in important museums and is considered a top-ranking artist in this discipline. Maltsev also created a number of works as gifts to the Soviet delegations from Poland, Chile, Germany, India, France, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Mongolia. He died in Moscow in 1993.

Sources & Citations

Vashik, K., & Baburina, N. (2003). Real'nost' utopii: Iskusstvo Russkogo plakat XX veka. Moscow: Progress-Traditsia. (p. 135)
Milner, J. (1993). A dictionary of Russian and Soviet artists 1420-1970. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club. (bio, p. 278) (bio) (bio on Mal'tsev)