People's Artist of Ukraine, Laureat of State prize of Ukraine named after Shevchenko, Fedor Zakharov is one of the best colourist and profesional painter among Soviet masters of landscape. Major theme of Zakharov's works is the struggle between light and shadow, storm an quiet. Born in Smolensk, he graduated Surikow Moscow State Academic Art Institute in 1950 where he was taught by famous russian artists such as Lentulov , Ryazhsky , Favorsky , Chekmazov, Since 1950 Zakharov lived and worked in the Crimea. He was a teacher in the Crimean Art College n.a. Samokish N.S. in 1950-1951. Since 1953 he was a participant of regional, national, Union and foreign exhibitions (Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Japan, France). In 1967 Fedor Zakharov received the certificate of honor from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR "for participation in development of Soviet art". He was awarded the Order "Badge of Honor". His paintings are kept in museum collections in Ukraine (Kyiv, Charkiv, Odessa), Russia, and in private collections in Ukraine and abroad.
Fedor Zacharov is justifiably considered as on of the founders of the Crimean impressionistic art school. Artist’s name, as well as his paintings is known not only in Russia and Ukraine but also abroad. That’s what Olga Kostina - candidate of art criticism sciences - writes about the painter:
''The real rank of any artist in the history of world culture is determined by time – the most strict, ruthless and fair judge. How many names of Italians glorified in the sixteen century by Georgio Vasari in his Lives of the Most Eminent Painters were known only in their day? Comparatively, Mikhail Vrubel was unrecognized by Russian society of the nineteenth century but become a remarkable and noted figure for the arts in the twentieth century.
There is a “table of ranks“ in the hierarchy of cultural values; these ranks are various, both within the limits of national culture and in the scale of world culture. We feel it is high time to take the name of the Russian artist Fedor Zakharov out of the national shadow to reveal the real level of his talent and place him at last in one line with the famous masters of domestic and European art.
He was neither an opener of new forms nor an initiator of new directions. However, the force of his talent and the scale of his personality determined the originality of creativity that accumulated the best achievements of nineteenth century Russian realism combined with the picturesque color traditions of the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century found in early Soviet art, as well as the French schools of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. With such a variety of sources feeding his ''greedy'' creative nature, Zakharov’s gift was the ability to give painting the force of his soul.
The great charge of his pictures can cause a deep emotional response in the spectator. One has to grow up in order to perceive F. Zakharov’s works, to acquire the deep empathy of his imagery. The painter himself perceived life and nature extremely emotionally.
With his unique feeling for color he always enriched the heat of emotion with colorful impressions and was not afraid to be open, sometimes even impudent, but more often lyrical in his own way, and most importantly, always sincere. Zakharov’s painting is characterized by color intensity;at times color contrasts seem almost incompatible. However, the inherent harmony and the gift of his color sense restrains the decorative temperament. Zakharov ingeniously used color, tone, semitone – all the thinnest picturesque nuances. He worked quickly, promptly, in rhythm with his heart. He painted, both with a brush and palm of his hand, striving not to miss anything essential while creating an image. The pure, bright color in his pictures is deep and full of emotion. His palette is mainly light and sated, with a full color spectrum within each picture. Undoubtedly, color is the main form-building means of the artist’s paintings.
If the French impressionists and after them, V. Serov, K. Korovin and other Russian artists “liberated” color, returning “self-value” to it, Zakharov sated color with passion, giving new depth and importance to color. Unlike impressionist painters, he did not destroy the form with color but kept the material subject tangible. Zakharov brought the sensuality and impulsiveness of early twentieth century West-European art into the bowels of realistic Imagery. Thus, he kept the sensation and weight of visual form that is peculiar to Russian understanding of an image in fine art.
The inner freedom, the elements of his soul were splashed out in a wide, free, unchained manner of painting. Such combination of different art directions gives, on the one hand, an impression of ease, and on the other, an impression of validity of form.
With the variety and quality of Color in Zakharov’s paintings it is possible to place him in one line with the most famous artists of the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. His paintings include the insight and gravity of V.Serov, the breadth and freedom of K. Korovin, the ease and virtuosity of K. Monet, the graceful completeness of Alfred Sisley’s compositions, and the complexity of acute color in Nikolai Fechin’s work. All of these qualities are heated by the force of Zakharov’s temperament, and lead to unique and monumental resonance. The sense of big form is present even in small-format works.
This pressure of Zakharov‘s paintings, their monumental expressiveness regardless of size determines the significance and uniqueness of his art. Fedor Zakharov is a master of transferring effects of light. Bright solar light, vanishing twilight, soft evening glow, and the cold lunar effects of the moon — various combinations can be found in the painters landscapes.
Interest in Zakharov is growing year to year, both in Russia and abroad. Society in general does not yet realize his place in the cultural context of the second half of the twentieth century, but there is an intuitive feeling that his art is original and of high cultural value. Since creative advances always outpace public acceptance, the process of defining Fedor Zakharov’s cultural status is progressing at a normal rate for the cultural process.
In recent years, F. Zakharov’s exhibitions took place in Ukraine (Yalta, Simferopol, Kiev) and in Russia (in the State Tretyakov Gallery, in Moscow, 2002). We are sure that as time passes one more bright, unique star will appear in the constellation of the world of fine art of the second half of the twentieth century, the star named Fedor Zakharov.''