Vera Beletskaya was a graphic artist and an honorary artist of the USSR. She was of Russian origin, born in Tbilisi in 1914, and attended the Tbilisi Academy of Art, from which she graduated in 1937. Her primary areas of focus were illustration and landscapes.
Vera Beletskaya created her works with gouache, tempera, and watercolour. The main theme of these works is the nature of Georgia and Georgian architectural monuments, such as “Svaneti,” “Veli Tbilisi,” “Dagestan,” and “Monuments of Ancient Architecture.” This series consists of both panoramic landscapes and lyrical sketches depicting the enigmatic nooks and crannies of nature. The creation of these works was inspired by I. Pavlov, the oldest Soviet engraver, who taught a course on engraving. These courses contributed to the development of the graphic arts in Georgia. Together with N. Chernyshkov, M. Berdzenishvili, and V. Tsktsadze, an architect, Beletskaya collaborated on an album of engravings called “Old and New Tbilisi” under Pavlov’s supervision.
In the 1960s, the artist joined Elene Akhvlediani’s expedition team and travelled to different regions of Georgia with the “Creative Union.” During these travels, she painted a series of landscapes that became a significant part of her body of work. Each expedition member took a unique approach to the perception and depiction of nature, thereby enhancing the aesthetic and emotional expression of the Georgian landscape genre of the 1950s and 1960s.
During the production of the “Dagestan” series in 1955, Vera Beletskaya incorporated charcoal alongside traditional gouache and watercolour. The series focuses on depicting the landscape, way of life, and architecture of Dagestan. Notable works include “Girl with a Jug,” “Mother at the Cradle,” and “In the Pottery Workshop.” The 1965 compositions titled “Shepherd,” “Birdkeeper,” and “Sheep Shearing” are energetic and decorative in execution, in contrast to the soft-toned 1957 linocuts dedicated to Bakuriani.
The “Tbilisi” series of linocuts from 1962 is notable for its vitality, impulsiveness, and decorative quality. The artist utilises not only lines but also the tonal and artistic capabilities of linogravure by employing both sharp and gentle strokes.
Vera Beletskaya was an illustrator who worked on children’s books, including pieces by H.C. Andersen (1956) and fairy tale collections by Nakashidze in 1959. Some of her illustrations were also featured in Romanian publications in 1956 and Yugoslavian publications in 1960.
The complete collection of Vera Beletskaya’s works is kept at the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery.