The national artist of Belarus and the USSR Mikhail Savitski died at the age of 89 in Minsk during the night of November 7 to 8. Civil funeral will be held at the Central House of officers on November 10 from 10:00 to 13:00. Mikhail Savitski will be buried in Maskouski (East) Cemetery of Minsk on the same day.
Mikhail Savitski has left a spouse and a son. According to the management consultant of the Arts Ministry of Culture Tatiana Parhamovich, a state commission was formed for the funeral, BelaPAN.
Mikhail Savitski was born on February 18, 1922 in the village of Zveniachy (Talachyn district Vitsebsk voblast). During the Great Patriotic War, he participated in the battles for Sevastopol, used to be in the concentration camps of Düsseldorf, Buchenwald, Dachau, fighting in the ranks of the Resistance in the very beginning of the war.
After the war he studied at Minsk Art College, then — at Moscow Art Institute after V.I. Surikova. Then the artist lived and worked in Minsk, became head of the state cultural institution «Creative academic studios of painting, drawing and sculpture.»
The artist captured in a series of canvases his war experience. The most famous of his painting became «The Partisan Madonna,» «Partisans,» cycle «Figures on the heart.»
In 1972 Mikhail Savitski was awarded the title People’s Artist of the BSSR, in 1978 — People’s Artist of the USSR. He was a member of the Russian Academy of Arts and the National Academy of Sciences. In 1973 Mikhail Savitski was awarded the State Prize of the USSR, and in 1997 he became the first holder of Skaryna Order — the highest state award of Belarus- «for his great personal contribution to the development of fine arts and public activities». In 2006 Mikhail Savitski was awarded the title «Hero of Belarus» by the decree of the President of Belarus.
First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Artists Gregori Sitnitsa has noted that an era in the Belarusian art’s come to its end when Mikhail Savitski has gone. «He’s one of the most prominent leaders of the era, having given a powerful product for our culture. Another stage in the development of our art begins with his leaving the world. He was one of the guardians of academic traditions. This is an artist of a very large scale,» «European Radio for Belarus» quoted Gregori Sitnitsa.
In connection with the death of the national artist of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko expressed condolences to the relatives of Mikhail Savitski, calling him the conscience of the Belarusian intelligentsia, one of the spiritual lights of society, having made an invaluable contribution to the preservation of historical memory of the Belarusians, the press service of the Belarusian leader.