Michail A. Sawizki

1922 (Swinjatschi, USSR) - 2010 (Minsk)


"My painting has not been based on random impressions but on my memories. But the times have demanded something else from me: to understand what I have lived through, to seek to discover what threads link past and present."

Mikhail Andreyevich Savitski was born to a farming family in the village of Zvenyachi in the district of Vitebsk on 18 February 1922. After his conscription into the Red Army in 1940 he served in the region around Sebastopol.

In 1942 he was captured and held in the Stalag 326 (VI K) Senne prisoner-of-war camp. From there he was transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp – the date of his arrival and his inmate number are unknown – and then to the Mittelbau-Dora subcamp or concentration camp. He remembered being transferred from there to Dachau. 

After 29 April 1945 Savitski returned to the USSR and served in the army until 1947. From 1947 to 1951 he followed a course of studies at Minsk State Art College and then studied until 1957 at the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow. From 1957 onwards he lived in Minsk, working as a painter, and received numerous awards, including People’s Artist of Belarus, People’s Artist of the USSR and the State Prize of the Belarusian SSR, and was a member of the Belarus Academy of Sciences. From 1980 onwards he taught the masterclass in painting at the Academy.

Mikhail Savitski died in Minsk on 9 November 2010.