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Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 6
September 19, 2014 17:23


Back to Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 5

Ivan Kramskoy (1837-1887) was a gifted artist and art theorist. With the help of his outstanding talent as a psychologist, he created profound portraits of the great people of Russia: Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Vasilyev, Ivan Shishkin, and others. He paid attention to common people as well (the portrait of the forest ranger Min Moiseyev). Ivan Kramskoy also created narrative composition paintings, the most considerable of them being Christ in the Desert. It shows the ideal person who sacrificed himself to the universal good and found happiness in it.

The Russian artists who turned to genre painting were V. M. Maksimov (1844-1911), G. G. Myasoyedov (1835-1911), A. I. Korzukhin (1835 - 1894), V. E. Makovsky (1846-1920), and others. Paintings by N. A. Yaroshenko (1846-1898) excelled in profound creative concepts: The Fireman, The Prisoner, The Student, as well as his portraits of G. I. Uspensky, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, P. A. Strepetov and others.
 
The characteristic traits of the Russian painting of that period were most vividly embodied in Ivan Repin's (1844-1930) creativity. His creative activities were versatile. Large canvasses on complicated modern and historical subjects interspersed with portraits. His brilliant drawing and composition skill as well as fresh color palette went hand in hand with vivacious and passionate temperament. His famous paintings Barge Haulers on Volga, Protodeacon, and Sacred Procession in the Kursk Province were created under impression of real life situations. The characters of populist revolutionaries were depicted in his works Arrest of Propagandist, Reneging a Confession, Unexpected, etc. his talent as a historical painter vividly manifested itself in the masterpiece Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan on September 16, 1581.  The artist also managed to delve deeply into the realms of advanced figures of the Russian culture with his portraits of the composer Modest Mussorgsky, writer Leo Tolstoy, surgeon Nikolay Pirogov, and others.
 
Vasily Surikov (1848-1916) was a great historical painter of Russia. The common people made the central character of his painting The Morning of the Streltsy Execution. The artists conveyed with Shakespearean might the tragedy of a former all-powerful grandee in the canvass Menshikov in Beryozovo. Surikov’s another famous painting Boyarynya Morozova shows the woman of spirit. Vasily Surikov is also the author of battle paintings Russian Troops under Suvorov Crossing the Alps) and other compositions. To epic mood of his paintings is in tune with his rich and complex color palette.
 
Vasily Vasnetsov (1848-1926) dedicated his works to the Russian folk creativity and the people’s history: Prince Igor’s Battlefield inspired by The Tale of Igor’s Campaign; Alyonushka, Bogatyrs/The Strongmen, The Bard Bayan, and others. 
Considerable achievements of Russian art in battle painting can be seen in Vasily Vereshchagin's (1842-1904) works, namely The Apotheosis of War, General Skobelev at Shipka Pass, Napoleon near Borodino, Before the Attack. At Plevna, and others.
 
Love for the motherland and Russian nature inspired creativity of the Russian landscape masters, such as the founder of lyrical landscape Alexei Savrasov ( (1830-1897; The Rooks Have Come Back), Fyodor Vasilyev (1850-1873; Wet Meadow, In the Crimean Mountains), Ivan Shishkin (1832 - 1898; Among the Valleys, Morning in Pine Forest, Carvel Pine Grove, etc), Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910; Night on the Dnieper), and Isaak Levitan (Over Eternal Peace, Evening Bells, Spring, High Water, Birch Forest, and others).

Realistic trend in Russian sculpture was developed by M. M. Antokolsky (1843-1902) who resorted to the subjects of the Russian history: Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Nestor the Chronicler, Yermak, etc.

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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian History Russian Painting   

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