The Major’s Marriage Proposal. Pavel Andreyevich FEDOTOV

Pavel Andreyevich FEDOTOV (1815-1852)

It was by an unorthodox route that Pavel Fe­dotov, officer of the household troops in the Finland regiment, became an artist. Born in the outskirts of Moscow, the son of a retired lieute­nant, his childhood was spent in poverty. The boy would sit for whole days on a hay-shed, observing all that was going on …

The Drowned Woman. Vasily PEROV

Vasily PEROV (1834-1882)

The distinguished Russian painter Vassily Perov was born in Tobolsk, Siberia, and received his artistic training in Moscow where he lived and worked most of his life. He painted in the 1860s and 1870s, a time of intense social conflicts in Russia when age-old ways of life crumbled following the abolition of serfdom. In the …

Christ in the Wilderness. Ivan Nikolayevich KRAMSKOI

Ivan Nikolayevich KRAMSKOI (1837-1887)

Ivan Kramskoi has a place in the history of Russian culture as a talented portraitist, histori­cal and genre painter, theorist, teacher and fer­vent opponent of dogmatism in art, and as one of the leaders of the Society of Peredvizhniki.

Peter the Great Interrogates Tsarevich Alexei. Nikolai Nikolayevich GHE

Nikolai Nikolayevich GHE (1831-1894)

Nikolai Ghe was born in Voronezh. When he was three months old his mother died, and soon after his father, a retired officer, went with his family to Kiev and thence to Podolsk Guber­nia where he bought an estate. It was here that Ghe’s childhood was spent. He was brought up by his grandmother and …

Rye. Ivan Ivanovich SHISHKIN

Ivan Ivanovich SHISHKIN (1832-1898)

Ivan Shishkin was born in the small provincial town of Yelabuga. His father, a merchant of modest means, was a great lover of antiquity. In an effort to foster his son’s interest in history he took him to the archeological excavations of the ancient Bulgarian kingdom on the Volga, where he was helping the Moscow …

Lake in the mountains of Switzerland. Alexei Savrasov

Alexei Savrasov (1830-1897)

Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov (1830-1897), one of Russia’s most remarkable landscape painters, who proceeded from romantic traditions in his never ending searchings, was first to produce what one could term the lyrical landscape. However, since he often anticipated future developments in both concept and realisation, his creative career was no bed of roses, for which reason …

A Wet Meadow. Fyodor Alexandrovich VASILIEV

Fyodor Alexandrovich VASILIEV (1850-1873)

Fyodor Vasiliev was born at Gatchina, into the family of a low-rank post-office official. When he was twelve the family moved to St. Petersburg and settled on the VasilievskyIs­land. Fyodor’s childhood was joyless, with his family in constant material difficulties. For a time the future artist worked as a postman and then joined the drawing …

Birch Grove. Arkhip Ivanovich KUINJI

Arkhip Ivanovich KUINJI (1842-1910)

It is no accident that Arkhip Kuinji is some­times known as the bard of the Ukrainian night. And although he also painted the severe scenery of the island of Valaam, Ukrainian highways awash with rain, and the flowering steppe, it is for his inimitable evocations of the beauty and mysterious charm of Ukrainian moonlit nights …

Alenushka. Viktor Mikhailovich VASNETSOV

Viktor Mikhailovich VASNETSOV (1848-1926)

Viktor Vasnetsov was born into the large pa­triarchal family of the local priest in the remote village of Lopyal, near Vyatka. Shortly thereaf­ter the family moved to the village of Ryabovo where the artist’s childhood passed. He began drawing at an early age, but tradition had it that sons should follow in their fathers’ foot­steps …

Tamerlane's Guards. Vasily Vasilyevich VERESHCHAGIN

Vasily Vasilyevich VERESHCHAGIN (1842-1904)

The great Russian battle-painter Vasily Ve­reshchagin, the son of a landowner, was born in Cherepovets. When he was eight he was sent to the Junior Cadet Corps, and in 1853 he was transferred to the St. PetersburgNavalSchool. It was here that he developed an interest in drawing and began to devote more and more time …