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An artist of the national significance20 2014 , 11:07

An artist of the national significance

- How are coins born? Where do images for their design appear? Alexander Baklanov, Head Artist of the Design Center of Goznak is often asked.
- And how are poems created from the alphabet? He asks in return. How can one explain! The coin art is very conservative, but a medal vice versa requires an experiment in its nature. An artist can express himself in a medal, but a coin is a symbol of the country, a symbol of the time. A medal too, though. If one thinks about it, the responsibility is great, it is a matter of the national significance.  
Working upon the coins of the Sochi 2014 series we have done everything to make each of them beautiful in its own way, but at the same time they would represent a bright and multifarious picture narrating the history of the Olympic Games.


Alexander Vassilievich Baklanov, an outstanding Russian artist and medallier, was born in 1954 in the village of Baklanovo of Vagaiskiy District of Tyumen Region.
     At 15 he entered the art school named after M.B. Grekov in Rostov-on-Don, then he studied at the artistic and graphical faculty of the Saint-Petersburg Pedagogical Institute, had a two-year training course at the graphic workshop of I.A. Serebryakov, a peoples artist of the USSR at the Academic Institute named after I.E. Repin at the Academy of Arts in Saint-Petersburg.  
     In 1979 Alexander Baklanov became a member of the painting section of the  Commonwealth of artists of the USSR (the Commonwealth of Artists of Russia now). In the same year he was employed as an artist at the Saint-Petersburg Mint of Goznak. He has been Head Artist of the Saint-Petersburg Mint since 1987. In 2007 he was appointed Head Artist of the Design Center of Goznak.
An unknown provincial artist from Siberia was first entrusted to work with the badges, and only later on started to design coins and medals.
From the very beginning Baklanov was noted not only for his accuracy and seriousness, but also for a special approach to his works which proved the talent of an original master. That is all the more surprising because the medallier art was not taught anywhere in Russia at that time. Baklanov graduated from his universities in-service. And he managed to become one of the best medallier artist in the world.    
     Today Alexander Baklanov is a peoples artist of Russia, a full-fledged correspondent member of the Academy of Art of the Russian Federation.  
     Alexander Baklanov is the author of the design of the Russian state awards the star and the token of the Order for Merit to the Fatherland, medals of A.V. Suvorov, A.S. Pushkin, The 300th Anniversary of the Russian Navy, The 50th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. He took part in the revival of the Russian state awards the Order of Saint Apostle Andrey First Called, the Order of Saint George and St. Georges Cross. Medals were minted according to authors projects of Alexander Baklanov in Germany, Italy, Norway, Finland.  
     A professor of the Academy of Arts and the Pedagogical University in Saint-Petersburg, Alexander Baklanov shares his wealth of experience with young artists having organized a group of artists and medalliers at the Academy of Arts.  
     Projects of commemorative medals and coins developed by Alexander Baklanov brought him world-wide fame. Coins struck under his projects at the Saint-Petersburg Mint of Goznak were chosen the best at international numismatic salons and competitions time and again.

Alexander Baklanov is truly a peoples artist because every Russian citizen has held his works in his hands. Baklanov is the author of the Russian coins in circulation, starting with 1 kopeck and up to 5 roubles.

the work upon creating the post-Soviet coins lasted about two years at a very difficult time there was an active political process in Russia but there were no state symbols.
Proposals of the state symbolics were very different to place the images of Peter the Great or historically significant monuments from the cities of Russia and the Moscow Kremlin on the obverse side of the coins But Saint George the Victory Bringer was chosen at once for the sketch of a kopeck. Such George was minted on the first Russian money. It was thanks to Saint George the Victory Bringer armed with a spear the coin was first called a kopeck.
The two-headed eagle was chosen for all the other face-values. It was drawn in 1917 for the Coat of Arms of the Interjacent Government by the famous artist Ivan Bilibin. But the eagle was modern, oblongish, therefore Bilibins eagle was made smaller and shorter for minting commemorative coins. Later on it was placed on the modern Russian subsidiary coins. Generally the whole row of circulation coins of Russia has the same stylistics and is a monument of the new young Russia.


Baklanov's coins
1991.  The numismatic convention. Braunschweig (Germany).  An award in The best palladium coin of the year category Peter the Great the reformer coin with the face value of 25 roubles, struck in 1990 at the Leningrad Mint.
Artist and sculptor A.V. Baklanov

1993. An award of The World Coin News (USA) in the category The best historical coin of the year The 30th anniversary of the first human space flight coin with the face value of 3 roubles struck in 1991 at the Leningrad Mint.  
Artist A.V. Baklanov
         Sculptor N.A. Nosov  

1994. An award of The World Coin News (USA) in the category The best historical coin of the year Sovereignty, Democracy, Revival copper-nickel coin with the face value of 1 rouble struck in 1992 at the Leningrad Mint.  
Artist and sculptor A.V. Baklanov

1994. The third position according to the reader poll of Deutsches Münzen Magazin (Germany) The Russian ballet gold coin with the face value of 100 roubles struck in 1993 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.  
Artist and sculptor A.V. Baklanov

1998. An award of The World Coin News (USA) in the category The best silver coin of the year a 100-rouble coin of The Russian Ballet series (The Nutcracker) struck in 1996 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.

Artist A.V. Baklanov  
Sculptor A.A. Dolgopolova

1998. The third position according to the reader poll of Deutsches Münzen Magazin (Germany) a gold coin with the face value of 50 roubles of The 850th Anniversary of the Foundation of Moscow struck in 1997 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.
Artist A.V. Baklanov
Sculptor S.A. Kornilov

2001. The fifth position according to the reader poll of Deutsches Münzen Magazin (Germany) a 3-rouble silver coin of The Architectural Monuments of Russia series with the image of the palace and park ensemble of Tsarskoye Selo (the 18th century) listed in the World Heritage of UNESCO, struck in 2000 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.  

Artist A.V. Baklanov
Sculptors A.A. Dolgopolova, A.V. Baklanov

2003. An award of The World Coin News (USA) in the category The coin of the highest artistic merit of the year (For the best artistic performance) a 25-rouble coin issued on the occasion of the 225th anniversary of the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, struck in 2001 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.  
Artist A.V. Baklanov
Sculptor I.S. Komshilov

2005. The second position according to the reader poll of Deutsches Münzen Magazin (Germany) a 25-rouble silver coin of The Architectural Monuments of Russia series with the image of Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Monastery (14th century) on the island of Valaam struck in 2004 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.
Artist A.V. Baklanov
Sculptor A.S. Kunats

2007. The Russian 25-rouble commemorative coin The 150th Anniversary of the State Tretyakov Gallery won the Coin of the Year category of the First International Competition Coin Constellation-2007. The coin was struck of silver with a gold insert in 2006 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.
Artist A.V. Baklanov
Sculptor A.A. Dolgopolova

2008.  Andrey Rublev coin of the Bank of Russia with the face value of 10 000 roubles won the Gold Coin of the Year category of Coin Constellation-2008 International Competition. The coin was struck in 2007 at the Moscow Mint.  
Artist A.V. Baklanov
Alexander Baklanov also received an award For contribution to the development of the Russian market of coins of precious metals.  

2009. The 25 000-rouble coin of the Bank of Russia dedicated to the 190th anniversary of Goznak won two categories The Gold Coin of the Year and The Coin of the Year of the International Competition Coin Constellation-2009. The coin was struck in 2008 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint.  
                Artists A.D. Schablykin (obverse) and A.V. Baklanov (reverse).

2013. According to the reader poll of Deutsches Münzen Magazin (Germany) the gold commemorative Russian coin Fauna of Sochi of the Sochi 2014 Programme of the Bank of Russia was chosen the coin of 2012.
        The face value is 1000 roubles. The coin was struck in 2012 at the Saint-Petersburg Mint. The coins dedicated to the 22nd Olympic Winter Games have been issued in series since 2011. But the year of minting on them is 2014 the year of the Olympic Games in Sochi.  
        The design author and sculptor of the coin reverse is Alexander Baklanov.
Source: Taisei Monthly 11/2013
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