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Leonid Tomiloff

  • As a professional scene-designer, Leonid Tomiloff was in high demand in Istanbul. For many years, he worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs and was the chief decorator of the Constantinople Commercial Club.
  • Leonid
  • Tomiloff
  • Леонид Томилов, Leonid Tomilov

  • Scene DesignerDecorator
  • As a professional scene-designer, Leonid Tomiloff was in high demand in Istanbul. For many years, he worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs and was the chief decorator of the Constantinople Commercial Club.

    Word Count: 33

  • Short note about Leonid Tomiloff (Radio, 30 January 1927, n.p.).
  • Leonid Maksimovich Tomiloff was born in Siberia into the family of a wealthy merchant. He received his education at the prestigious Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (where Nikolai Vasilieff also studied), and his special field was “decorator”. After his studies, he taught drawing in secondary school for a while, but soon left this activity, as he preferred working at the theater. Until the revolution and the civil war, Tomiloff distinguished himself at the Bolshoi Moscow Imperial Theater under the leadership of Konstantin Korovin and Leonid Brailovsky. He fought in the war, where he received two serious injuries; one to his head and one to his leg. Nevertheless, Tomiloff came back from the war with the rank of captain and continued to work in the speciality he once trained in, only now in Istanbul, where he was forced to flee to. Like many other Russian-speaking artists (Vladimir Bobritsky, Nikolai Kalmykoff, Nikolai Peroff and others), in the first years of his émigré life, Tomiloff did a lot of work at the Theatre des Petits Champs (as well as at other small émigré theater associations), creating various sets for performances. According to contemporary journalists, his scenery contributed almost 50% of the success. They wrote: “Which of the Russians, one way or another involved in the theater, did not know L.M. Tomiloff? It is difficult to find such a person not only among the actors, but also among the public, even a foreign one” (Turskiy 1927, n.p.). Subsequently, Tomiloff's talent was appreciated by the regulars of the Constantinople Commercial Club, where he worked as chief decorator throughout the existence of this entertainment establishment. There is every reason to believe that, after the closure of the club, he worked in Ankara. Unfortunately however, there is no information about how his life ended. Interestingly, the details of the artist's life were published in several Istanbul newspapers because of rumors about his death that circulated around the city. Nevertheless, the obituaries created by the journalists turned out to be premature.

    Word Count: 335

  • Entertainment program of the Constantinople Commercial Club as listed in the Zarubezhnyi Klich almanac, April 1925.
  • Turskiy, Boris. “Nekrolog. L.M. Tomilov.” Radio, 21 January 1927, n.p.

    Anonymous. "Hudojnik L.M. Tomilov." Radio, 30 January 1927, n.p.

    Almost all issues of Vecherniaia Gazeta (1924–1926) and Zarubezhnyi Klich.

    Word Count: 28

  • Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague.

    Word Count: 6

  • I would like to thank the representatives of the Slavonic Library (Slovanská knihovna) in Prague for helping me tremendously during my work at the library.

    Word Count: 25

  • Ekaterina Aygün
  • Theatre des Petits Champs, Mezarlık Street 500 (now Meşrutiyet Caddesi 50), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (place of work); KKK, Grand Rue de Pera 322 (now presumably Istiklal Caddesi 130), Beyoğlu, Istanbul (place of work).

  • Istanbul
  • Ekaterina Aygün. "Leonid Tomiloff." METROMOD Archive, 2021,, last modified: 16-09-2021.
  • Vladimir Bobritsky
    PainterScene DesignerGraphic ArtistMusician

    Bobritsky worked at the Theatre des Petits Champs, where he successfully dealt with stage designs and costumes, at the same time he participated in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople.

    Word Count: 31

    Konstantinopol’skiy Kommercheskiy Klub

    KKK was probably the most popular Russian club in Beyoğlu district between 1924 and 1926. Not only Russian émigrés but also local residents could enjoy its constantly updated entertainment programme.

    Word Count: 30

    Nikolai Peroff
    PainterArt restorerIconographerChoir DirectorCharitable Society’s ChairmanScene Designer

    Nikolai Peroff lived in Istanbul until the end of his life. He was engaged in restorations, carried out scene decorations, and did a lot for the Russian churches in Karaköy.

    Word Count: 31

    Nikolai Kalmykoff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Kalmykoff played an active part in the Union of Russian Painters in Constantinople and at the same time worked as a stage designer. Later he acquired the Turkish citizenship.

    Word Count: 29

    Nikolai Vasilieff
    PainterScene DesignerMuralist

    Vasilieff was not only one of the Union of Russian Painters in Istanbul’s leaders, but he is also remembered for his stage settings and costumes for the ballet Scheherazade at the Theatre des Petits Champs.

    Word Count: 36