There are not so many works made during the Great Patriotic War. Among them is the portrait of Aleksandra Nikolayeva, the People’s Artist of the BSSR. The portrait was created by Belarusian artist Yevgeny Zaytsev in 1943. During the war, he worked at the central headquarters of partisan movement in Moscow. He worked for the satirical newspaper ‘Partisanskaya dubinka’ and the magazine ‘Crush the Fascist Vermin’.

These works appeared due to the fact that many representatives of the creative intelligentsia also fought the enemy with their weapons – the weapons of art. Actors and musicians performed in front of wounded soldiers in hospital. They appeared at the front with their performances. The famous ballerina Aleksandra Nikolayeva also participated in such brigades. She is a native of Leningrad. She finished the Leningrad Choreographic School. Even before the war, she came to Minsk at the invitation of the Opera and Ballet Theater, where she was the leading ballerina until the 1960s. The portrait of Aleksandra Nikolayeva is one of the most successful portraits by the artist. He revealed the depicted character with the greatest expressiveness and skill. Despite the fact that Aleksandra Nikolayeva is in her stage costume, Yevgeny Zaytsev does not depict anything theatrics in her image. This is not a cheerful and lively Kitri from Minkus’s ballet ‘Don Quixote’. The woman’s strict pose, luminous eyes and plastically sharp gesture of her hand resting on her waist present that anxious time, when, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk were won at the price of many lives. They marked a radical turning point during the Great Patriotic War. The portrait has strength, energy and courage. The dramatic image has deep intense color and the contrast of an openwork white dress and dark hair with red ribbons woven into it. This is a true image of the actress who worked hard during the war.