AP PHOTOS: Russian villager turns his house into work of art

SEVERNAYA GRIVA, Russia (AP) " In this sparsely populated village east of Moscow, Mikhail Korshunov's house is visible from far away.

Portraits of Russian rulers " from the 13th-century Novgorod prince, Alexander Nevsky, to President Vladimir Putin " adorn its facade.

Korshunov, a self-taught artist, painted them along with many other things. He uses different styles and techniques. His portraits of Russian leaders are painted in a realistic manner, but he also made a few icons imitating the old traditional style.

His status of a local celebrity earned him an order from one local restaurant, whose facade and interiors he decorated, but his art is mostly non-commercial.

Korshunov, a former firefighter who now works as a forest ranger, also writes poetry.

Villagers in Severnaya Griva, 140 kilometers (nearly 90 miles) east of Moscow, like him for his talents and generosity: He once built a wooden chute for children.

Like other residents of his half-abandoned village, he relies on his land plot to feed himself. But his tractor also looks peculiar: an image of deer is painted on its side.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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