Monday, June 28, 2010

THE REVOLT OF FOURTEEN




Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy (1837–1887)
Self portrait, 1867
Source Lib.Ru (Maksim Moshkow's Library)
From Wikimedia


Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy was a Russian painter and graphic artist, a master of genre, historic and portrait painting and an art critic. He was born in the town of Ostrogozhsk in the Voronezh Region in southwestern Russia into a commoner’s family. He received a basic education in a district school. During his childhood Kramskoy independently studied drawing and later began working with aquarelles. When he was 16, he worked as a color correction artist for a Kharkov (Ukraine) photographer. In 1856 he moved to St. Petersburg and continued to work with the best of the capital’s photographers. The following year he entered the Arts Academy, where he soon showed great talent in drawing and painting. During his academy years, he gathered the progressive youth around him. He was the head of the protest against painting the far-fetched pieces ordered by the council (the so-called “programs”). The artists graduating from the Academy created the St. Petersburg Team, which owed its atmosphere of mutual help, co-operation and strong spirituality to Kramskoy.
Kramskoy began to mature as a portraitist. He often employed his favorite graphic technique, using sauce, bleach and Italian pencil. With this method, he drew portraits of the artists Morozov (1868), Shishkin (1869), Myasoedov (1861), Chistyakov (1861) and Koshelev (1866). His portraits were very accurate and without obliquities, but with reserved colors. His art technique corresponded well with the image of the intellectual democrat, a common character of his paintings such as “Self Portrait” (1867) and “The Portrait of the Agronome Vyunnikov” (1868).
(RT)


Portrait of the Artist Grigory Myasoyedov
Oil on canvas
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From ARC


Under the influence of ideas of the Russian revolutionary democrats Kramskoi asserted representation about a high public duty of artist, principles of realism, moral substance and a nationality of art. He became one of the main founders and ideologists of Company of Mobile Art Exhibitions (or Peredvizhniki). In 1863–1868 he taught at drawing school of a society of encouragement of applied arts. He created gallery of portraits of the largest Russian writers, scientific, artists and public figures (Leo Nikolayevitch Tolstoy, 1873, Ivan Shishkin, 1873, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov, 1876, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, 1879, Sergei Botkin, 1880) in which expressive simplicity of a composition, clearness of figure emphasize the leading part of the profound psychological characteristic.
(Wikipedia)


Portrait of the Agronomist Vyunnikov
Oil on canvas, 1868
State Museum of Byelorussia
Minsk, Russian Federation
From ARC


Portrait of the Artist Feodor Vasilyev
Oil on canvas, 1871
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From ARC


Portrait of the Artist Konstantin Savitsky
Oil on cardboard, 1871
Museum of Fine Arts
Voronezh, Russian Federation
From ARC


Portrait of the painter Ivan Shishkin, 1873
Tretjakow-Galerie
Moscow, Russian Federation
From Wikipedia


Portrait of the Writer Leo Tolstoy
Oil on canvas, 1873
The State Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
Source nibiryukov.narod.ru
From Wikimedia


In 1873 Tretyakov commissioned the Portrait of Leo Tolstoy (above) for his gallery. Tolstoy had refused several times. “Please use all your charm to persuade him “, wrote Tretyakov to Kramskoy. And Kramskoy managed to do this, the writer and the artist were both impressed by each other’s personalities. Kramskoy painted one of the best of all Tolstoy’s portraits. Tolstoy was working on Anna Karenina at the time and he used Kramskoy’s character as one of the secondary personages in the novel – the artist Mikhailov.
(Olga’s Gallery)
Kramskoy always understood the capturing charm of color, admired Alexander Ivanov, his younger contemporaries – Repin, Vasiliyev, Polenov, French Impressionists - “…Just a small group of laughed at painters, but the future belongs to them…”, he wrote in the 70s about his French colleagues. But he himself was a poor colorist. Once during the work on the portrait of Adrian Prakhov, the mother of the sitter saw the portrait after the first day of painting and impressed by it, took it away and did not allow Kramskoy to finish it, she said that if the artist went on working he would dry it as usual. Kramskoy himself understood his drawbacks and limits, but was afraid to change his manner.
(Olga’s Gallery)


Portrait of Sophia Kramskaya, the Artist's Wife
Oil on canvas, 1879
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From ARC


Portrait of Adrian Prakhov
Art Critic and Historian
Oil on canvas, 1879
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From Olga’s Gallery


Portrait of the painter Ivan Shishkin, 1880
Staatliches Russisches Museum
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
From Wikipedia


Portrait of Empress Maria Fiodorovna, ca. 1880
Born Princess Dagmar of Denmark
Wife of Russian Tsar Alexander III
From Wikimedia


Portrait of Empress Maria Fiodorovna
Head-Dress Decorated with Pearls
Oil on canvas, 1880
Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
Source album.foto.ru
From Wikimedia


Portrait of the Actor Vasily Samoilov
Oil on canvas, 1881
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From ARC


Portrait of A.P.Lensky, 1883
Source ssga.ru
From Wikimedia


Portrait of a Woman (Unknown Woman)
Oil on canvas, 1883
The Tretyakov Gallery
Moscow, Russian Federation
From Wikimedia


Portrait of a Woman (detail)
From ARC


This is the most intriguing and well-known painting by Kramskoy (above). It shows a haughty, exquisitely dressed woman riding in her open carriage on the Anichkov bridge in St. Petersburg. Stasov (art critic from that time) said of the painting, "She is a coquette in a carriage... Over time, however, the Unknown Woman has become a symbol of sophistication, beauty and spirituality; the Russian Madonna."
(Conservapedia)


Portarait of philosopher Vladimir Solovyov, 1885
Source lj.rossia.org


Portrait of Alexander III (1845-1894)
The Russian Tsar,
Oil on canvas, 1886
From Wikimedia


Portrait of the Doctor Karl Rauchfus
Oil on canvas, 1887
The Russian Museum
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
From Olga’s Gallery


The artist died on 24 March 1887 during his work on the portrait of Doctor Rauhphus (above) with brush in his hand. His works embody the high moral and social ideals of his time. For him, artistic truth and beauty, moral and aesthetic values were inseparable. His works greatly influenced his contemporaries’ ideology. Today they still affect people because the artist’s attitude to life was based on love and respect of man, on his belief in truth and justice.
(Olga’s Gallery)



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