Pinegin Nikolai Vasilyevich
writer, explorer of the Arctic.
Born in the city of Elabuga, Vyatka province, in the family of a
began studying at the Vyatka real school, continued at the Perm
gymnasium, from which he was expelled from the fifth grade "for
From 17 years old, the young man began to live independently. He
entered the Kazan Art School, earned money for existence by
increasing portraits, playing in a brass band, and lessons.
In 1907 Pinegin passed competitive exams at the Academy of Arts. In
the first years of training, a young student, deprived of any
support, felt a great need, which made him take on any job.
While studying in Kazan, he planned a trip to the North, in St.
Petersburg "thrust to the North" broke out with a new force. Reading
of the Arctic literature, and probably the very spirit of this great
city, the cradle of all Russian polar expeditions, had its effect.
In 1908 he managed to make a trip to the Murmansk coast of the
Kola Peninsula. The
result of it, in addition to a number of sketches, was Pinegin's
first literary work, as well as an even greater craving for "the
In 1910 he came to Novaya Zemlya, where from mid-July to the end
of September he lived in Krestovya
was fortunate enough to sail to the northern tip of the archipelago,
to visit a number of bays on the western coast of the northern
island, to get acquainted with the harsh Arctic nature. It
was in that year that Pinegin met G.Ya. Sedov,
developed into mutual affection and friendship. The
pictures painted on Novaya Zemlya were exhibited at the Academic
Exhibition in Petersburg the same year.
Summer of 1911 Pinegin spent in Manchuria, engaged in leveling
the railway track between Manchuria and Harbin stations.
Soon he had the long-awaited opportunity of wintering in the
immediately received two tempting offers to participate in the
expedition: from Sedov to the Pole and from V.A. Rusanov sailing
on the "Hercules". Fortunately
for Pinegin, he did not choose the expedition of Rusanov, which
ended, as is well known, tragically for all its participants.
In the expedition of Sedov on the ship "St. Foka"
in 1912-1914 Pinegin
participated as an artist, photographer and cameraman. From
it, he brought a number of paintings, not inferior to the paintings
of the famous A.A. Borisov,
created the first Russian film on the Arctic theme, which is a
unique film document. This
journey is devoted to the book Pinegin "George Sedov", which,
unfortunately, he was not able to fully complete.
Artistic activity was not, of course, the only occupation of
Pinegin in the expedition. Under
the guidance of his friend V.Yu. Vize, he
studied the basics of meteorology and professionally conducted
meteorological observations, replacing Vize during his trips. Pinegin
was a great hunter, bringing great benefit to the expedition. Stocks
of animal fat, created by Pinegin, replaced dried out coal when “St. Foka
"made his way through the ice to Franz
Joseph Land. Fresh
meat produced by Pinegin saved more than one person from scurvy that
raged at the end of the second wintering. Sedov
sympathized with Pinegin for his tirelessness, energy, direct and
open nature, and Pinegin answered him with love, respect and
unquestioning obedience. Only
Sedov managed to extinguish Pinegin’s frequent and serious conflicts
with P.G. Kushakov.
After returning from the expedition, Pinegin continued his
studies at the Academy of Arts, in 1915 at the Spring Exhibition he
demonstrated sketches written by him on the Novaya Zemlya and the Land
of Franz Joseph. For
these studies, he won the Kuindzhi Prize, many of which were
purchased for museums and private collections.
The events of the First World War for the time being overshadowed
the interests associated with the study of the Arctic. After
graduating from the Academy in 1916, Pinegin was a historian-painter
of the Black Sea Fleet for two years, then headed an art studio in
Simferopol, and after the defeat of the studio Denikin lived in
Sevastopol. In 1917 while on vacation, he participated from the
Academy of Fine Arts in the regular Spring Exhibition with the
painting Polar Peace, for which he was also awarded the Kuinji
In the same year of 1917, Pinegin was elected to the First
Council of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Deputies, but it is
hardly necessary to consider that his attitude towards the Soviet
power was cloudless. In
1920, after the occupation of the Crimea by the Bolsheviks, Pinegin
emigrated abroad. In
Constantinople, he worked as a loader, a guide to Byzantine
monuments, painted signs. In
Prague, he received an order at the Royal Theater for making scenery
for the opera Boris Godunov, then moved to Berlin, drew
illustrations, worked at the Institute of Navigation.
During his life on the Black Sea and abroad, Pinegin worked on
his expedition diary, which he published in the form of a book
called “In the icy expanses”. The
release of this book was to some extent turning in his work: he
began to give greater preference not to painting, but to literature.
However, the main affection of his life remained the Arctic. Already
in 1924, Pinegin was again on Novaya Zemlya, this time as part of
the Northern Hydrographic Expedition. As
part of her research, he participated in the first reconnaissance
flights of B.G. Chukhnovsky.
In 1925, Pinegin presented to the Academy of Sciences his
detailed project of the study of Severnaya
to his plan, an expedition consisting of 7 people on 30 dogs was
supposed to reach the Northern Land on a motor-sailing schooner
adapted for wintering in the ice or wintering off the coast of
Taimyr and from here for a year and a half to do research. However,
the expedition did not take place then, and in 1930, preference was
given to the project G.А. Ushakov.
In 1928–1929 on
the instructions of the polar commission of the Academy of Sciences
Pinegin on the schooner "Polar Star" passed from Tiksi
Bay to Bolshoi Lyakhovsky Island, where he organized a polar
station at Cape Shalaurov and wintered on it in 1929-1930. An
employee of this expedition was, as is well known, a geologist M.M.Yermolaev. The
following year, due to the death of the Polar Star in the area of Cape
Buor-Khaya, the necessary equipment and the replacement of
winterers were not delivered to the station, and the polar explorers
under their own power reached Yakutsk in the winter. The
results of the station headed by Pinegin are presented in a
two-volume work published by the Academy of Sciences in cooperation
with the Arctic Institute. The
artistic description of this expedition is given in Pinegin’s book
In the Land of Arctic Foxes.
Upon returning from the Novosibirsk Islands, Pinegin joined the
Arctic Institute, where he was entrusted with the creation of the
Museum of the Arctic, he was also included in the editorial board of
the Bulletin of the Arctic Institute, in which his articles often
these years, Pinegin began to pay great attention to the
popularization of Arctic research. Thanks
to him, for example, the book V.A. Albanov
was republished. He
himself released an interesting essay "Novaya Zemlya".
In 1932 Pinegin led an expedition to the
"Malygin" sailed to Rudolf
Island, the northernmost island of
the Franz Josef Land archipelago, where the
meteorological meteorological station was built. Malygin
reached the record free-swimming mark in the Arctic at that time -
In 1934 Pinegin left the Arctic Institute and devoted himself
entirely to literature and painting. He
created a large number of paintings on the northern theme, which
depicted the Arctic landscapes, ports, polar stations. The
collections of Pinegin's artworks are available in several Russian
museums: Russian, Arctic and Antarctic, Central Naval, Petrozavodsk
regional studies. During
these years, he worked on the novel "George Sedov", which,
unfortunately, did not have time to finish, before he was 60 years
He was buried in Petersburg on the track of the geographers of
the Literary bridges of the Volkovsky
cemetery: a granite stele. The
dust was moved in 1949 from Volkovsky Lutheran cemetery. Near
the grave of his friend V.Yu. Vize.
An island in
the group of South Cross Islands near the west coast of Novaya
by G.Ya. Sedov
Cape Pinegin and Inostrantsev Bay
(photo by EA Korago)
South-western entrance cape of
Inostransev Bay on the west coast of Novaya Zemlya. Called
the east of the island of Bruce archipelago
Franz Josef Land. Named
by cartographers in the 1950s.
the northern island of Novaya Zemlya south of Krestovaya Bay.
the north of the island of Alexandra Land
archipelago Franz Josef Land. The
name was approved in 1963 by the Arkhangelsk Regional Executive
A small river on
the southern island of Novaya Zemlya, which flows into the Kara Sea
between the capes of Berha and Kolzakov.
In honor of the son of Pinegin, Yuri named
a bay and a glacier on the island
of Hooker in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.