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"I have traveled to many countries, but the paradise in the world for me is Bulgaria."

Vladimir Dimitrov Majstora

February 1 marks 136 years since the birth of Vladimir Dimitrov - the Master. In 1882 in the village of Frolosh, in the family of a refugee father from the Macedonian Wallachian village of Magarevo and a refugee mother from the Macedonian village of Star Istevnik, the future master of painting was born. His portraits and compositions have expressive colors, idealistic drawing and strong symbolic radiance. Apart from the unique works of the Master known to all Bulgarians, related to the people and nature in the Kyustendil region, let us not forget his unique contribution as a military artist. He created hundreds of sketches of the Bulgarian troops. It conveys with simplicity and finesse the emotions in the trenches and the way of life of the war.

"72 years ago, Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora came to the school in Shishkovtsi. I was in the first ward. Our lady melted when she saw him. "Children, who came to visit us?" We got up, we greeted him. He asked her if she could choose one of her students to paint it. And there were many of us - three rows of two per rank. " This is what Boyanka Arakchieva recalls, painted as "The Girl with the Apples" by the great artist.

"The master grabbed our head and lifted his chin to see the expression on his face. All the kids wanted us to paint. When he came to me, my eyes must have shone with joy and desire. Sparkling.

He said, "I like this child. Can he come out in an hour? And while I was painting it, Mrs. Lisicheva, would it be possible to be absent every morning for the first hour? "The teacher, who had a very good soul, immediately agreed," says Boyanka.

She has not forgotten that the Master created only in the morning, at sunrise. "Whether one is going to paint, an apple, a grape - it had to be illuminated by the sun's rays. He stood with his back to them and took on the image. He painted me for five days and an hour and the picture was ready.

/ based on material by Magdalena Gigova,

He showed all his canvases first in the village of Sheshkovtsi on the small square. The dance was performed there on St. George's Day, on Easter and Christmas. And he exhibited the paintings for the villagers to see. The artist was in contact with people and if they liked the picture and recognized the painted ones, he was very happy. Everyone loved him, and he reciprocated. He respected them very much for being hard workers. The master came out very early. The sun had to find him in the gardens. This in our region is the place where the grass is cut down, and apples, pears, quinces grow up, ”explained Arakchieva.

While the artist sketched it, the two talked. He told me that he was undressing barefoot, that "this dewdrop" charged him best. That's what he said - diminutive of everything. "

According to her, the artist, when in contact with the model who posed for him, also saw his inner peace. With this he explains that in the picture Boyanka looks much bigger. "Maybe I saw him more mature than the other children, so he painted me a little older. And I was exactly eight - 1943. He painted me from October 1 to 5. I was a curious child with a pure soul, I asked him why he did not marry one of the most beautiful girls in the village, because he painted them all. So he likes them. "I will never allow myself to scratch and she to dig in the garden and feed me," the Master replied.

Then I asked him why he came back from America and how much money he brought. Everyone was talking about this in the village. He admitted to me: “Even while traveling further, I was seized by illness, nostalgia that I was leaving Bulgaria. I had taken a large box with over 300 sails. I left, and grief suffocated me. I told the American who had accommodated me alone in a huge house that I had to return. He took the paintings and gave me a pile of money. What am I supposed to do with them? I filled the empty box with canvases and paints, and I still had a lot left. I asked the butler (because there was a butler in the big house where he had accommodated me) to take me to a ghetto to see the poor people living. When I went there, you know what I saw.

This is not our poverty here. We can walk in patches, but we are not hungry. We still have to eat a little bean, pepper, lentils, but there people lived in shabby houses and had nothing from anywhere. They can't produce any greens. Theirs is misery and poverty, it is not ours. And I felt so sorry for them that I looked for the mayor, the person in charge of the ghetto.

We went to the local "Fuel" and I, because I don't know the American language, told him to take a cart of coal and wood to each house with signs. To be able to keep them warm for at least one winter. When they saw me so weak, they asked me with signs "Who will pay". I pulled out my pile of money, which the American gave me, and gestured "Until they're done." I am very happy to have warmed these people for at least one winter. I didn't bring a single dollar. Because in Bulgaria, what would I do with dollars ?!

The American wouldn't let me go. He shouted, "Here's your money, paint." And what should I paint - a bare wall ?! There is no nature. Can I paint in this huge house where you can run with a horse ?! I told him "No!" I have traveled to many countries, but the paradise of the world for me is Bulgaria. And the center of this paradise is the village of Shishkovtsi ", he said and smiled. It was so much for him it's nice when he talked to me about these things ", Boyanka did not forget a word from their conversations.

In Shishkovtsi the Master lives in the home of a family of seven. His sergeant brought him to the village. He saw him painting beautifully and said, "Come and see beautiful nature. If you like it, stay. The master came with him and he liked it very much. He changed several rooms, but settled with a teacher from a cell school.

"For him, his masters were Bai Kolyo and Kaka Gyura. In the painting "Wedding" he gave their images to his father-in-law and mother-in-law. He told me, "If they weren't, I would have starved to death. Every day, as Guga shouts, "Master, let's have dinner." I was embarrassed at first, but I got used to it. I am very grateful to her because she invited me to feed me with her children.

In Arakchieva's memoirs, the artist is a vegetarian. Does not lick meat. He paints only in the field, and at Bai Kolyo he holds a room with a tow mattress full of hay and a woven pillow. One table and one chair. Except for countless paintings leaning against the walls.

"The Master only spent the night in his room. For example, he painted me in our yard. Then he put the apples behind me from a garden where he liked them. He knew every property, every garden, every vineyard he owned. And when he went there to paint, he would go to the owner in the evening and tell him, “Come on, I'll be there tomorrow to paint your beautiful apples. You are a master! ” And in the morning, when he met the people with the carts and the oxen, he greeted "Good morning, good meeting, masters!" And they stopped their cars for a minute and answered him with “God bless you, painter! You are a master! ” It's good that he talked to them. No man passed without a good word.

"What a master, I'm a scribbler, but I'm going to paint your nice apples. "Well, put on some shoes, painter, if you've taken a loaf of bread. Don't just paint it ", the owner replied.

And in the evening the Master goes to him and shouts to him, “I painted and ate three grapes from your vineyard. And, if someone picks your grapes, you know, I buried my three bunches there. "

He was a saint at heart, a very honest man. He was led by a teacher and the Education Department in Kyustendil gave him the same salary as a teacher. With them he bought paints and canvases. And when he painted pictures, he took them to the Ministry of Education in Sofia to report and they sent them all over Bulgaria. My painting "The Girl with the Apples", for example, is in the Burgas gallery ", Boyanka is proud.

Very curious, as a child she asked him why he did not sign his paintings, and he replied that it was a gift from God and he was not going to put his name under it.

We express our deep homage to the genius of the Master with the calendar inspired by his paintings, with the authentic Kyustendil costumes of the Historical Museum in Kyustendil and the beauty of the modern girls from this region.

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