Recently the TMT art club made a special visit – not to a gallery or museum to see paintings in frames, but to the studio where the art was made. The club went to the studio of Olga and Leonid Tikhomirov, two artists who emerged from the best traditions of Russian realism and contributed much to the development of Soviet art.

Both merited members of the Moscow Union of Artists since 1953, they worked together until Leonid’s death in 2016. Portraits played the dominant role in their work, and people who were close friends of the Tikhomirovs — including ballerina Galina Ulanova, actor Mikhail Ulyanov and composer Aram Khachaturian — modeled for the two more than once. The portrait of Ulanova is the result of seven years of diligent, sometimes even stressful labor, with constantly changing sketches and family fights. Layer after layer, Olga spent hours working on the portrait, with the goal being true representation.