Nikolai Yaroshenko – Russian painter
Nikolai Yaroshenko was born in December 1846 in Poltava. He was a Russian painter and portraitist. His father was a military officer who had advanced to the rank of major- general, his mother was the daughter of a retired lieutenant.
In 1863 Nikolai graduated from the Poltava Cadet Corps. In the same year Yaroshenko moved to St. Petersburg and entered the Pavlovsk military school. He also attended evening classes at the drawing school of the Society for the Furtherance of the Arts.
Yaroshenko was influenced by the ideas of the Russian revolutionary democrats.
On March 7, 1876 Yaroshenko was elected member of the Society of Peredvizhniki and for over ten years he and Ivan Kramskoi headed the Society.
In 1878 Nikolai joined the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. Only there he exhibited his works.
In 1884 he painted portrait of Polina Strepetova, an actress who created striking scenic images of the downtrodden Russian woman.
In 1885 Yaroshenko bought a house in Kislovodsk, so-called “White Villa”, where he lived and worked until his death.
Yaroshenko was married to a former student, M. Navrotina. Writers, artists, scholars and younger members of the intelligentsia visited their Saturday nights.
The artist traveled widely in Russia and abroad: Italy, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
The Russian painter died on June 26 (July 7) 1898 in Kislovodsk. He was buried near the Cathedral of St. Nicholas.
Portraits take a significant place in his work. Nikolai was attracted by people of intellectual work: progressive writers, scientists, artists, actors, the best representatives of contemporary.
Yaroshenko painted portraits of Ivan Kramskoi (1876), Gleb Uspensky (1884), Dmitri Mendeleyev (1885), Nikolai Ghe (1890), Vladimir Korolenko (1898) and many others.
Vladimir Lenin called Yaroshenko ‘a marvelous artist and wonderful psychologist of real life.’