Irina Kovaleva had a career progression that would have been the envy of many arts students of her age. Born in 1934, she attended Tavricheski Art School, Leningrad, in the 1950s. She went on to study at the famed Ilya Repin State Academic Institute of Fine Arts, Sculpture & Architecture from 1960-1965 under Prof Victor Oreshnikov, and became one of his assistants from 1965-1968. The late Prof Oreshnikov was a much garlanded artist and presided for a quarter of a century as rector over the Repin institute, considered the largest and most important academy of art in the Soviet Union, and with an equivalent status in today’s Russia.
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