I found this image somewhere on the web, looked up the painter, and wasn’t quite ready for his story.
“…At thirteen years old his mother put him in the art school attached to the Academy of Arts. At the interview it was politely explained that there was nothing for Georgy in the painting department since he had a total lack of feeling for colour. So they suggested Georgy Kurasov join the sculpture class. In some way he was pleased, since all the painted images they showed him seemed terribly boring, and Georgy had great interest in form. That was when he began his professional training. He spent six years in the vast studio of a building erected during the time of Catherine the Great … Those gloomy, narrow, incredibly high vaulted corridors, the vast, cold, grimy studios, everything was inhabited by the ghosts of long dead masters of ages past, whose influence was far more real than the insignificant apologists of Socialist Realism and of Marxist Leninist aesthetics…those years in the Academy were the best years of his life. Nearly all Georgy’s friends and colleagues date from those years. The circles he moved in were intellectual, talented, young — which meant free…It was then that Georgy met his wonderful Zina, who was later to occupy nearly all his space, both physical, in his life, and creative, in his works.”