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Peter Ilyin

 (1887 - 1950)
Peter Alexander Ilyin was active/lived in California.  Peter Ilyin is known for landscape, portrait, mural.

Peter Ilyin

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Peter Ilyin
Peter Ilyin was born in Kazan, Russia in 1887. Best known for his portrait painting, he showed early promise as an artist when he started sketching his natural surroundings. His parents supplied him with crayons and paper that fueled his interest in art throughout high school. He attended high school with his younger brother Gleb Ilyin, also an artist, and took private lessons in art outside of school. Peter studied under Professor Pashovsky and by age eighteen was one of the best artists in Kazan. In 1905 he received several mural commissions in his hometown.

His career in art was interrupted by a Russian tradition that the eldest son within an aristocratic family attend the Imperial Government Military Academy. The academy was close to his home and Ilyin continued what art studies he had time for on the side. He graduated in 1909 and returned to his pursuit of art. Between 1914 and 1916 he was assigned to the cavalry and was sent off to battle on the Austrian front. In 1918 Peter, his wife Nadine, and his brother Gleb all departed for Japan during the Russian Revolution. Peter and Nadine left Japan in 1922 with the money they had generated from portrait sales.

Peter Ilyin and his wife settled in San Francisco where he opened a studio on Clay Street. His specialty was portrait painting and San Francisco provided an ideal atmosphere for him to prosper as an artist. He exhibited at the Bohemian Club, the Oakland Art Gallery, the City of Paris (S.F.), and the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento. Ilyin died in 1950 in a hospital in San Francisco.

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Peter Ilyin
Born in Kazan, Russia on June 19, 1887. Peter Ilyin began sketching at an early age. During high school he studied under C. G. Pashkovsky, and had further training at the Imperial Academy of Art in St Petersburg. At 18 he was considered one of Kazan's finest artists. In 1914 his art career was interrupted by WWI in which he served as a pilot. After the Russian Revolution erupted, as czarists and members of the aristocracy, he, his wife Nadine, and brother Gleb were forced to leave Russia. After moving to Japan in 1918, they lived there for four years and exhibited in the imperial exhibitions. The sales from several successful exhibitions enabled Peter and Nadine to leave Japan in 1922. After arriving in San Francisco, portrait commissions made their settling an easy one. Peter was primarily a portraitist although he painted many landscapes. From his studio in his home at 2977 Clay Street came oils, pastels, watercolors, and pen-and-ink drawings. Ilyin died of heart failure in San Francisco on June 28, 1950. Member: SFAA; Bohemian Club; Beaux Arts Club; Society for Sanity in Art; Bay Region AA. Exh: Imperial Art Show (Tokyo), 1921, 1922; City of Paris (SF), 1924; San Francisco Art Association, 1924-50; Bohemian Club, 1927-50; Calif. State Fairs, 1927-41 (prizes); GGIE, 1939 (murals); AIC, 1939 (medal); SFMA Inaugural, 1935; SWA, 1940s; CPLH, 1940 (1st prize), 1947 (prize). In: CHS; Nevada State Capitol (Carson City); Doheny Library (USC); Nevada Museum (Reno).

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California Art Research, 20 volumes; Who's Who in American Art 1940-41; SF Examiner, 6-30-1950 (obituary).

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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About  Peter Ilyin

Born:  1887 - Kazan, Russia
Died:   1950 - San Fransico, California
Known for:  landscape, portrait, mural