Ivan the Terrible. Mark Matveyevich ANTOKOLSKY

Mark Matveyevich ANTOKOLSKY (1843-1902)

The greatest Russian sculptor of the second half of the nineteenth century, Mark Antokols­ky, was born into a large Jewish family of mod­est means. At nights, instead of resting after his exhausting work in the tavern where he helped his father out, he would give himself up to his fa­vourite occupation—moulding or cutting out little …

Life Goes On. Nikolai Alexandrovich YAROSHENKO

Nikolai Alexandrovich YAROSHENKO (1846-1898)

Nikolai Yaroshenko was born in Poltava. His father, a highly educated man, was a military officer who had advanced to the rank of major- general, his mother was the daughter of a retired lieutenant. The boy’s propensity for drawing was clear at an early age, but in keeping with the family tradition his father wished …

A Religious Procession in Kursk Gubernia. Ilya Yefimovich REPIN

Ilya Yefimovich REPIN (1844-1930)

Ilya Repin, the son of an officer, was born in the town of Chuguyev, Kharkov Gubernia. In his childhood and youth the future artist suifered privations and painted icons and por­traits to earn money. He had his first les­sons in drawing at the school of topography.

Golden Autumn. Isaak Ilyich LEVITAN

Isaak Ilyich LEVITAN (1860-1900)

Isaak Levitan lived and worked at a period when Russian culture in all spheres was flourish­ing. His contemporaries were Repin and Suri­kov, Nesterov and Serov, Chekhov and Gorky, Chaliapin and Yermolova. In his short creative life Levitan produced about a thousand paint­ings, pastels and drawings.

The Abduction of Europa. Valentin Alexandrovich SEROV

Valentin Alexandrovich SEROV (1865-1911)

Valentin Serov was born in St. Petersburg, the son of the well-known composer Alexander Serov. In his childhood the future artist was steeped in an artistic atmosphere: not only mu­sicians, but also artists such as Mark Anto­kolsky and Ilya Repin were visitors to the house, and Alexander Serov himself was an ar­dent amateur artist. His …

A Paris Cafe. Konstantin Alexeyevich KOROVIN

Konstantin Alexeyevich KOROVIN (1861-1939)

Konstantin Korovin was born into a well-to-do merchant family. At fourteen he entered the architecture department of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where his elder brother Sergei—later a well-known realist painter—was already a student. By this time the family had run into hard times: ‘I was extremely hard-up,’ wrote Korovin, recalling his …

Lilacs. Mikhail Alexandrovich VRUBEL

Mikhail Alexandrovich VRUBEL (1856-1910)

On 12 April 1918 Vladimir Lenin signed a decree which became known as the Plan for Monumental Propaganda, which included a list of the world’s leading cultural figures, the mem­ory of whom was to be perpetuated in revolutionary Russia. Among these names was Mikhail Vrubel.

Tapestry. Viktor Elpidiforovich BORISOV-MUSATOV

Viktor Elpidiforovich BORISOV-MUSATOV (1870-1905)

Viktor Borisov-Musatov, who became known as the creator of what one might call ele­gies in painting, was the son of a railway official and was born in Saratov. When he was three he fell and damaged his spinal cord, and this child­hood injury had a certain effect on the future ar­tist’s character: even at an …

The Family. Sergei Vasilievich IVANOV

Sergei Vasilievich IVANOV (1864-1910)

Sergei Vasilievich Ivanov was born in the town of Ruza in Moscow Gubernia into the fa­mily of an exciseman. The boy’s artistic leanings became apparent at an early age, but his father considered that he would never make an artist, or that at the most he might become ‘a sign-painter’. Discerning no difference between painting …

A Wedding Procession in Moscow (17th century). Andrei Petrovich RYABUSHKIN

Andrei Petrovich RYABUSHKIN (1861-1904)

Ryabushkin made a name for himself in the history of Russian art as a talented master of his­torical genre-painting and a sensitive portrayer of the peasant way of life. He was born in the vil­lage of Stanichnaya Sloboda in Tambov Guber­nia. His father and elder brother were icon- painters, and the young Ryabushkin helped them …