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Lanceray Yevgeny

Yevgeny Lanceray (Eugene Lansere) was a Russian artist of French descent – graphic artist, painter, sculptor, mosaicist and illustrator. He was born in a family of artists: his father was sculptor Yevgeny Lanceray Senior; his sister – Zinaida Serebriakova, the painter; the brother – the architect Nikolai Lanceray; the niece – Alexander Benoit, the graphic designer, scenographer and the artist of the Diaghilev’s Russian Seasons, who, together with the latter, formed the World of Art Association which Yevgeny Lanceray joined in 1899.  A bit earlier he traveled to Europe and studied at the Academie Colarossi  and Academie Julian in Paris.

At an early stage of his creative path Lanceray was mostly engaged in historic genre paintings, the most famous among his works of that time are  Empress Elizabeth Petrovna at Tsarkoe Selo (1906), and The Ships of Peter the Great (1911). In parallel with this Lanceray illustrated books and created decorative compositions.

As a military draftsman-correspondent Lanceray participated In the WWI. After the revolution of 1917, he did drawings for the  Propaganda Bureau of the Denikin Volunteer Army.

In the Soviet Period (1930s) Lanceray mostly worked as muralist. He painted decorations for the Kasansky Railway Station in Moscow as well as created interior decorations for the Hotel Moscow.

A fifteen year period of his prolific artistic life (1920-1934) he spent in Georgia.  In 1920, during the First Republic (1918 – 1921), he worked in the Central Museum of History and Nature (later The State Museum named after Simon Janashia).  Together with Jacob Nikoladze, Dimitri Shevardnadze and Joseph Charlemagne, Lanseray was involved in  the independent Georgia’s banknote design project. But after the Sovietization, in collaboration  with the same artists, he created  the coat of arms of the Soviet Georgia.

In 1922, Yevgeny Lanceray, together with  the Georgian well-known artist Valerian Sidamon-Eristavi, worked as a production designer  for the  Ivane Perestyani’s film Surami Castle. The same year, after the establishment of the Tbilisi Academy of Art he received professorship and served as Dean of the Painting faculty.

Lanceray was involved in  numerous expeditions iniciated by the Caucasus Archaeological Institute to the monasteries of Davit Gareji, Shio Mghvime, Zedazeni and Bethania,  as well as a participant of the expeditions to the city of Kutaisi and Guria region, to Dagestan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Archaeological and ethnographic expeditions resulted in a lot of sketchers of great artistic and documental value.

In 1927, through the Lechkhumi Pass, Lanceray walked up  to the highland region of Svaneti where he created the richest material of artistic and descriptive nature: these are the 3 albums of sketches, 30 works in tempera, sanguine, charcoal and watercolor as well as diaries and personal letters depicting the life of 14 communities of Upper Svaneti.

Half a year in 1927 he spent in Paris as the representative of the Tbilisi Academy of Arts.  

In 1930 Art Historian Giorgi Chubinashvili invited Lanceray to participate in the exhibition for the jubilee of Rustaveli for which he created a series on the Middle Age Georgian architecture.

Lanceray received the titles of Honored Artist of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1933) and People’s Artist of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federal Republic (1945). He was a laureate of the Stalin Prize of the second degree (1943).

Evgeny Lanceray returned to Moscow in 1934 and  taught there at the Institute of Architecture and the Academy of Arts.

He died in 1946 and is buried at the Novodevichego Cemetery.



Yevgeny Lanceray
Date of Birth1875Date of Death1946Share