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Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Konstantin Flavitsky – Russian painter

Konstantin Flavitsky
Konstantin Flavitsky (1830 – 1866) was a Russian painter.
Talented artist, delicate and sensitive, who believed in the triumph of justice, died of tuberculosis shortly after the creation of his the most striking masterpiece “Princess Tarakanova”. The painting, officially recognized as the most famous masterpiece of Flavitsky, based on the legend of the death of Yelizaveta Tarakanova in the prison during the flood of 1777 in Saint Petersburg.
“Princess Tarakanova” became the swan song of the artist. He died at the age of 35.

Princess Tarakanova

Princess Tarakanova, in the Peter and Paul Fortress at the Time of the Flood, 1864


Flavitsky’s difficult fate contributed to the realization of his brilliant talent. At the age of 9 he became an orphan and was sent to a foundling hospital for poor children, where he showed his extraordinary ability to draw. Konstantin’s uncle, an architect, was impressed by his works and gave 17-years-old boy a roof over the head. Young painter entered the Imperial Academy of Arts and left his relatives. Konstantin worked very hard forgetting himself. No wonder he looks much older at his photos.
Konstantin Flavitsky
During his short life, Flavitsky created many pictures, most of which are in the most famous museums in Russia, Italy and France.
Let’s have a look at the most famous of them.

While studying at the Imperial Academy of Arts, a talented painter won the annual competition with his painting “The Court of Solomon” (1854) and received a small gold medal. Clean bright colors and rays of light highlight the triumph of justice.

Court of Solomon

Court of Solomon


The painting “Children of Jacob sell their brother Joseph” (1855), painted by Konstantin as a final exam, earned him a gold medal, the title of the pensioner of the Academy, and (the most important) the right to travel abroad to improve skills. The picture is at the State Russian Museum.
children of Jacob

The children of Jacob sell their brother Joseph


“Italian woman” (1857), the image of a charming girl, was painted during the first years of his life in Italy. The picture is in the Kaluga Regional Art Museum.
Italian woman

Italian woman


The picture “Finding of Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter” (1860) is in a private collection.
Finding of Moses

The Finding of Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter


Painting “Christian Martyrs in the Coliseum” (1862) made Flavitsky an honorary member of the Academy, but … not an academician, as he dreamed. The picture is at the State Russian Museum.
Christian Martyrs

Christian Martyrs in the Coliseum

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