Dimidium facti, qui coepit facit (He who has begun has the work half done)Paper, ink, 24x26 cm, 2002
“The Purse a'Tuppence” (book)Literature Artistique Publishers, Chișinău, 50000 copies, 15x23 cm, 1977
Page spread of the “Don Quixote” book (“In the second part of this story...”)Picture – etching, text – Italics, broad-nib metal pen, 59x36 cm
Page spread of the “Don Quixote” book (“They lifted Don Quixote from the ground and...”)Picture – etching, text – Italics, broad-nib metal pen, 50x36 cm
Yny-i moldovianPhotocopy. Original: broad-nib and sharp-pointed nib pens, composition of Old Russian fonts, words in Moldavian, 19x26 cm
Font compositionBroad-nib pens, black paper, white gouache, ready for print (black ink and white gouache finishing), offset process, 39x27 cm, 1984
Ilya Bogdesko was born in 1923 in Moldova (a former USSR republic). In 1951 he graduated from the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad. For many years he presided over the Union of Artists of Moldova. In 1984 he was elected as an active member of The Russian Academy of Arts. From 1993 Bogdesko resided in St Petersburg and was the Head of the Graphic department where he had studied before.
The winner of a number of national and international awards and prizes, including the Leipzig Book exhibition prize (for his illustrations for Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”).
In his graduate work, the illustrations for Gogol’s “Sorochinsky Fair”, he already demonstrated his quick eye, emotional style, and delicate sense of humor.
His sixty year creative advancement was predominantly devoted to illustrations for Moldavian, Russian and world classical literary works: Dostoevsky, Gogol, Pushkin, Swift, Cervantes, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Cooper, etc.
At the same time he created fine paintings, sculptures, and calligraphic works.
The art of book design, however, remained his priority. Starting to work on illustrations: the artist studied the corresponding historical epoch; analyzed the book from a modern world perspective and sifted it through his own experience and observations. His glorious ascent to the Olympus of mastery only seems to have been easy. He concealed all his doubts, torturing searches, and failures in his workshop. The audience saw only elaborate, fine and delicate works of art, carefully weighted on the scales of exquisite taste.
Ilya Bogdesko passed away on March 29th, 2010.