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Nikolai Timkov (Russian, 1912-1993)



Who is Painter Nikolai Timkov?

Born in a small settlement in the Russian Empire to peasants from the Saratov province, Nikolai Timkov would transcend his humble beginnings to become one of the best-known artists of the Leningrad School of Painting. His work, which often featured landscapes or famed Russian battles are easily recognizable for its muted tones, beautiful use of light, and sincerity. While he was popular in Russia during his lifetime, exhibits after his death in 1993 led to Timkov’s popularity exploding in the west.

First a student, then a noted proponent of the Leningrad School of Painting, Timkov spend most of his life in Leningrad -- where many of his exhibitions would happen throughout his lifetime. His beautifully but subdued work stood in sharp contrast to many of his more bombastic peers. It would be this tenderness that would keep Timkov’s work so vibrant and exciting to look at. Even as other Russian painters have fallen into obscurity, Timkov’s work has continued to find new audiences the world over.

What type of art does Nikolai Timkov create?

Nikolai Timkov was a famed Russian landscape painter whose lyrical watercolors and oil paintings of Russian winter helped put the Leningrad School of Painting on the map. While best known for landscapes, he painted many genre paintings as well, with the Seige of Leningrad being a popular theme explored throughout his early work.

How often do Nikolai Timkov paintings come up for auction?

Nikolai Timkov is unique as an artist, nearly as popular in the west as he is in his native country. That said, there’s only a moderate history of Timkov paintings at auction. As of 2019, he had 131 previous sales. That said, his pieces have a populist sensibility to them, making them popular with collectors and casual art fans alike.

How much is a Nikolai Timkov painting worth?

On the high end, a Nikolai Timkov painting can sell for tens of thousands of dollars, usually hovering in the twenty to thirty thousand dollar range. That said, his two best sales have both been by Heritage Auctions. Flowering Apple Tree (1973) sold for $86,040 in 2008 for Heritage Auctions. His highest was Rostov in Winter (1970) which sold for an incredible $119,500 in 2008.

.Which Nikolai Timkov painting is the most valuable?

As previously stated, Rostov in Winter (1970) is Nikolai Timkov’s most valuable painting. It sold for $119,500 in 2008. The signed painting, which exhibits many classic Timkov aesthetics, is a beautiful portrait of the walled city at sunset. Deep blues and shadows dominate the foreground, while a walled city brilliantly reflects the fading light. It’s a perfect example of why Timkov has remained so popular for nearly a century.

What are the most famous paintings by Nikolai Timkov?

In addition to Rostov in Winter (1970), there are several pieces that have gained attention the world over. Russian Winter Hoarfrost (1961) is a beautiful study in blues and pinks. Lights of Hydro Power Station (1951) is frequently used as an example of Timkov’s classic muted tones from early in his career.

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