Pinegin Nikolai Vasilyevich 
 (27.04(10.05).1883–18.10.1940)

Artist, writer, explorer of the Arctic. 
Born in the city of Elabuga, Vyatka province, in the family of a veterinarian. He began studying at the Vyatka real school, continued at the Perm gymnasium, from which he was expelled from the fifth grade "for disobedience". 
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 real North". 
In 1910 he came to Novaya Zemlya, where from mid-July to the end of September he lived in Krestova Bay. He 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 Arctic. He 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 Wiese 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. Fock "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 Prize. 
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 Zemlya. According 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 appeared. During 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 icebreaking ship "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 - 82° 28'N. 
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 old. 
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 Zemlya. Called by G.Ya. 
Sedov in 1913.

 

Cape Pinegin and Inostrantsev Bay

(photo by EA Korago)


South-western entrance cape of Inostransev Bay on the west coast of Novaya Zemlya. Called G.Ya. Sedov in 1913. 
Cape in the east of the island of Bruce archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named by cartographers in the 1950s. 
Glacier on the northern island of Novaya Zemlya south of Krestovaya Bay. 
Lake in the north of the island of Alexandra Land archipelago Franz Josef Land. The name was approved in 1963 by the Arkhangelsk Regional Executive Committee. 
A small river on the southern island of Novaya Zemlya, which flows into the Kara Sea between the capes of Berha and Kolzakov.

 

Return to the main page