University Archive

Fund Prof. Vasil Stoilov

Fund Prof. Vasil Stoilov

Fund2 Prof. Vasil Stoilov

He was born on February 29, 1904 in Poduene (today part of the capital city of Sofia), as the youngest, seventh child in the family of priest Stoil Antonov and his wife, Mitra Lambova. At early age, he became interested in drawing, and later in literature. In 1922 he graduated from the First Men's High School in Sofia and was admitted to the Art Academy in the painting class of Prof. Teno Todorov. With his diploma thesis - the painting Gostenka - in 1927 he attracted the attention of art critics, and in 1928 he won a competition of the Ministry of Education with his painting "The Miraculous Icon" and received a one-year scholarship to specialize in Paris, France. He arrived in Paris on January 4, 1929, and resided there until May 1932. He painted portraits and landscapes for his patrons, the most famous being Andre Mayno. He has participated in prestigious exhibitions - the Autumn Salon of the Grand Palais (1929) and the Figaro Gallery (1932). At the end of 1931 Vasil Stoilov presented a solo exhibit at the Montmartre Henri Manuel Gallery. In 1932, at the general exhibition of the Society of French Artists, his painting "The Peasant with a Pitcher" was honored with an Honorary Certificate.
Afetr his return from France, he prepared his first solo exhibition in Sofia in 1933. In 1942, the painting by Stoilov "Harvest" was purchased for the Gallery of Contemporary Art "Palazzo Pesaro" in Venice, and in the following year he received the annual painting prize of the Bulgarian Academy of Science for his painting "Madonna", which participated in the General Art Exhibition in 1942.
From 1953 to 1962 Vasil Stoilov was a Professor of watercolor and painting at the Higher Engineering and Construction Institute in Sofia. Between 1964 and 1970 he was Professor of Painting at the University of Veliko Turnovo.
Vasil Stoilov actively participates in the artistic and cultural life of Bulgaria for the rest of his life. He has done dozens of solo exhibitions and participated in many national and foreign general exhibitions. His paintings are owned by galleries and private collectors around the world. It has received wide public recognition and many state honors.

Vasil Stoilov died in Sofia on February 13, 1990.

In 2000, Yavora and Vasilia Stoilova - the daughter and granddaughter of Prof. Vasil Stoilov - donated to the New Bulgarian University his personal archive. Thus the Archive Fund fund has been formed. In 2010 more than 160 paintings by the artist were submitted to the University Archive as well.
Vasil Stoilov's archive contains autobiographical and biographical references written between 1932 and 1984 in connection with job applications, exhibitions and competitions. The artist also kept his students' notes in literature, French and geography from 1921 to 1922. His student years were documented in diary notes from the last two months of 1923. Four notebooks were also kept, in which Stoilov kept notes mostly in French.
In the personal archive of Vasil Stoilov his creative activity can be traced from the earliest years. The manuscripts of his home and classroom exercises of 1921 and 1922, with calligraphically filled titles and vignettes, as well as manuscripts of his poems of those years. Most extensive is his manuscript for Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, written from 1960 to 1964.
Some of his drawings can also be find in his archive fund. They mark images, ideas, and reflections on compositional tasks and project solutions for large-scale storyboards.

The correspondence numbers about 500 letters with valuable information about the artist's life and creative contacts, about his stay in Paris, about his family relations and his professional environment.
The archive contains portrait photographs with the image of Vasil Stoilov from childhood to the last years of his life. His paintings, solo exhibitions and participation in general exhibitions are documented as well. Of the portrait paintings of other artists, it is important to note the ones of Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, Vasil Zahariev, Tsanko Lavrenov, Stoyan Venev and Iliya Petrov.