Viktor Shvaiko

Viktor Shvaiko

Born in Altai, one of Russia’s most remote and off-the-beaten-track towns, Viktor Shvaiko grew up surrounded by the beauty of the wilderness. His natural inclination for fine arts and his strong urge to share his vision of nature drove him to find a way into the Novoaltiask Artistic school, one of the two best schools for the arts in the former Soviet Union. Four years of strenuous studies enabled Viktor, a very diligent student, to acquire the skills of a true artist.

Eventually, Shvaiko wanted to escape the Russian bureaucracy that affected the careers of young artists. Unable to obtain a visa to a western country, in 1992 Shvaiko obtained permission to travel to Yugoslavia. In the confusion of the civil war, he escaped to Italy with his paintings strapped to his back.

Having arrived in Italy virtually penniless, Shvaiko survived by selling his paintings on the streets of Rome. He managed to build a following for himself and save some money. He eventually returned to a now more liberalized Russia and was able to obtain passage to America.

Soon after arriving in this country, Shvaiko’s career began to flourish. It was here that he developed his penchant for painting the little cafes and other intimate places that we continue to see in his work today, and that have become his trademark.

His enticing mix of beauty and mystery has drawn the interest of collectors from around the world, and he now has over 25 sold-out one-man shows to his credit. A more comprehensive biography of Mr. Shvaiko is available in the 128 page full-color monograph, “Victor Shvaiko-Journey to the West” available through Hanson Gallery.

I must admit I am partial to Viktor Shvaiko “Twilight at IL Ghibellino” painting. I proposed to my wife in Venice at a little cafe by a canal that reminds me whenever I see his painting. My future wife and I had backpacked through Europe for 6 months. Before we left I had searched online for a sterling silver jewelry store since she loved sterling silver. I finally found a e commerce site that sold sterling silver rings that were very reasonably priced with cubic zirconia gemstones that looked like diamonds. I couldn’t afford a real diamond ring and the cubic zirconia was dazzling and brilliant as a diamond. I carried this sterling silver engagement ring throughout our European trip tucked away in my backpack. That evening in Venice just seemed like the perfect time to propose. I am a romantic and what could possibly be more romantic than proposing in Venice, Italy. We have returned to Venice over the years and each time I try to find another intimate cafe along one of the canals and offer another sterling silver ring to my wife of now 20 years to confirm our commitment. So thank you Viktor Shvaiko for your”Twilight at IL Ghibellino”” painting. It brings back good memories.

Summer in Tuscany

Dinner at La Cave

Garden Lace

Light in the Passageway

Rendevous in Venice

Autumn in Paris

London for Two


Le Petite Cave

Calle Del Sol

Bon Giorno

Boats of Venice

Trattoria on the Water

Afternoon Rendezvous

Afternoon Shadows

Les Noces de Jeannette

La Taverne Massena

Siran De Margaux

The Wood Door

Afternoon Sunshine

Au Bon Charbot

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *