To say he is an artist is like saying the Boston Bruins are just another hockey team. Kronid Gogolev is a brilliant Russian master wood-carver who creates incredibly detailed artworks inspired by the rural and provincial life of Russia’s northern regions. I can’t even wrap my mind around how difficult and laborious this process must be.
Kronid Gogolev was born in 1926, in the Novgorod province of Russia. His father, a former priest, gave him the rather unusual name of Kronid, which means “Zeus”, a name many would say he eventually lived up to as the god of Russian wood-carving. When he was 16 years old he fought in World War II and participated in the liberation of the Leningrad region, Estonia and Poland. In 1953 Kronid Gogolev entered Leningrad Art and Graphic pedagogical school, and upon graduation moved to the town of Sortavale, in Karelia. He became famous in 1984, after he had two exhibitions in Moscow, and in the year that followed he became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR, and showcased his art both in Russia and abroad. Important figures like Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin or Patriarch Alexy II owned some of Kronid Gogolev’s wood carvings.