The trip to Germany was an amazing adventure for us, in every sense of that — the places we have visited, the people we talked to. Even some little things seemed amazing — everything was new, everything was so unusual and delightful.

For example, when we arrived in Dusseldorf, we were handed a thick bundle of German marks and I had never seen them before. …


Talking about Yuriy Nikolayevich’s international trips, so far on this page the narration was only about trips to Italy, but in fact everything started with another European country- Germany, the first country that we visited together.

There, not far from a small town — Kreuzau (North Rhine-Westphalia), was located the summer residence of Heinrich Böll, the famous German writer, translator and screenwriter. After Böll’s death in 1985, this place became a haven for artists from all over the world, and everyone who needed it was welcomed there. …


Good watercolors were rare back then. Yuriy Nikolayevich was not capricious, wrote in Leningrad ones, said that in Europe there are no such “earthy” shades. However, he was very happy when friends, Western journalists, historians, brought paints from Italy, England, France …

Once my young friend, the wonderful Katya Tarasova, japanist, called me from Japan and asked what paints would be of interest to Yuriy Nikolayevich, as she found a huge store in Tokyo, where there was absolutely everything for artists. I couldn’t answer anything properly, so I only determined the material — watercolor. …


The Italian chapter takes a special place in Yuriy Larin’s career. The beginning of this trip goes back to 1993 when the artist met with an employee of the Italian Embassy in Moscow Michela Sandini. Thanks to her we had a chance to visit La Rua, the country hotel which is three kilometers away from Thiene.

The hotel was quite simple, located at the crossroads, and from that place it was possible to go to peaceful Italian towns as Thiene. The artists were always welcomed to that place and therefore the atmosphere there was amazing. …


As Yuriy Nikolayevich had a lot of friends in Italy (and their number was always increasing) we were always invited to go out, they were entertaining us, showing around.

That’s how we came to be in Asiago- one of the favorite places among Italians to go in the countryside. It took us long to get there, we were getting up and up, and he was so excited, waiting to see the the mountains… But we ended up coming to a cozy hollow which was surrounded by hills. “Where are the mountains?” was wondering Yuriy Nikolayevich. As those places were close…


A letter for his wife, Inga Ballod, from Goryachiy Klyuch. Date: the 23rd of August, 1975

“….Yesterday, i.e the day I arrived I was not planning to work, just wanted to get some sleep. But I could not sleep, and that is why I went out to find some places from which I could get something. The city is covered by gorgeous greens. Small houses are entwined with grapes. There are plenty of apples and plums. So I walked along the street and went down Psekups, the mountain river, which is no longer mountain river when it reaches Goryachiy Klyuch…


Did Yuriy Larin know what will the final version of a painting look like? He, himself declared and not once that he did not have any idea about the outcomes. On his canvases the images portrayed the main value and were not trying to express anything more than what they already were. They were created naturally and could take the most unusual shapes.

“…Putting aside the details, boldly adding changes, Larin exposes the essence of the landscapes. The lightness and materiality, fragility and weight… clash on one paper, thus creating a complex polyphony and sophisticated image of nature…”

(G.Yelshevskaya.1985)


Yuriy Nikolayevich had a turn for arts from early childhood which he inherited from his father, Nikolai Bukharin, who was a gifted artist- amateur. The parents were arrested in 1938, and the boy was brought up by his relatives — Boris and Ida Gusman. When Gusman was also arrested in 1946, ten-year-old Yuriy was taken to the orphanage near Stalingrad (Volgograd). And only at the age of twenty he was told the name of his biological father.

The detailed narration of the artist’s career you can find at the following site https://yuri-larin.com/page5244499.html


Among the artists who were spending the fall in Goryachiy Klyuch Yuriy Nikolayevich was an absolute sore thumb. From dusk till dawn he would work in his studio. The studio was rather good, a big one, yet it was meant to be for two people: the second half was occupied by Alexey Pavlovich Matveyev. He was also an artist, but he worked with the portraits of the leaders and literary figures. The artist would spend his time rather on trifles than on work. Naturally for him it was perplexing to see his neighbor who was working passionately all day long…


Yuriy Nikolayevich would visit the House of creativity of the union of artists in Kaukasus, Goryachiy Klyuch, every fall starting from the late 70s. That was his an inexhaustible source of inspiration, revived by creativity with the help of which he would stay powered for the whole winter. He would not stop painting after his trips to south. No wonder that there is an enormous number of plots from those places in the artist’s collection, such as quick sketches, semi-transparent watercolor paintings, oil paintings which were able to capture the limit state that the artist himself described; sometimes there even were the whole series of paintings dedicated to the same place in different variations.

Yuri Larin

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