Bulgarian artist, art collector and public figure Svetlin Roussev died on May 26 2018 at the age of 84.
Roussev was born on June 14 1933 in the village of Vurbitsa. He graduated in painting at the High School of Fine Arts. He studied under the one of the greatest masters of modern Bulgarian painting – Professor Dechko Uzunov.
Head of the Union of Bulgarian Artists from 1973 to 1985, he was director of the National Art Gallery from 1985 to 1988.
Roussev became a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1971 and from 1976 to 1988 was a member of the central committee. He was an MP four times and twice a member of a Grand National Assembly.
He was admitted to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as an academic in 2003. Roussev was a corresponding member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, honorary president of AEAF in Paris in 1982, an honorary member of Nika Kai in Japan as of 1984 and an honorary member of the Kusthallehaus in Vienna as of 1985.
Roussev was the winner of numerous international and Bulgarian awards. Showings of his works included solo exhibitions in Sofia, Moscow, Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Mexico, Budapest, Warsaw, Bucharest, Berlin and Vienna.
His works are on display in the National Art Gallery in Sofia and in several art galleries abroad, as well as being held in private collections.
Among the first to publicly pay tribute after the news of Roussev’s death was Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, who said that Roussev had been an ingenious artist venerated throughout the world.
Borissov paid tribute, in his message to Roussev’s family, to the artist as “one of the few people who jabbed at our conscience and did not let the matter rest. He did so with kindness, that showed love to humankind and stimulated him to do good. He was great and will remain so forever. I mourn with you and give thanks for the good fortune of having known him”.
(Photo: Bulgarian Ministry of Culture)