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Vasily Perov – Russian painter

Vasily Perov. Self-portrait, 1870

Vasily Perov. Self-portrait, 1870

Vasily Perov (1834-1882) was a Russian painter, one of the founding members of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki). In this genre he took up social problems of inestimable importance, expressing the most progressive ideas of the time.
Vasily was the illegitimate son of provincial prosecutor Baron George (Gregory) Karlovich Kridener and A.I. Ivanova. His date of birth is exactly unknown: December 21-23, 1833 or January 2-4, 1834. Despite the fact that shortly after the birth of the boy, his parents got married, Vasily had no rights to the name and the title of his father. A few years after the birth of the boy, his father was retired and the family moved to Arkhangelsk, and then to the family estate Suslep. In 1842 the family moved to the Nizhny Novgorod province.

In his childhood Vasily became interested in art. In 1846 he entered A. V. Stupin’s art school in Arzamas.
In 1852, Perov came to Moscow, and the following year he entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1856, the painter was awarded a small silver medal for Portrait of Nikolai Kridener, the artist’s brother.
In 1860 Perov moved to St. Petersburg, where in 1861 he painted Sermon in a Village and received a gold medal and the right to travel abroad.
In the fall of 1862 Perov married Elena Sheins in December they went abroad. The couple visited a number of cities in Germany (Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf), and went to Paris. He spent a lot of time in the poor quarters of Paris, attended popular festivities and fairs. The paintings executed at this time illustrate the everyday life of the lower classes in Paris, street musicians, beggars, ragmen and simple Parisians.
Then the artist returned to Moscow, where he passed the rest of his life.
In 1869 in Moscow, Perov got together with the group of artists who subsequently founded the Society of Peredvizhniki. In 1871 the Society’s first exhibition opened in St. Petersburg, and its exhibits included Perov’s The Hunters Take a Break, The Angler and his portraits of Alexander Ostrovsky and Ye. Timasheva.
For the pictures Troika and Arrival of a New Governess in a Merchant House Perov was awarded the title of academician. The first one was bought by Pavel Tretyakov.
In 1872 Perov married Elizaveta Druganova.
In 1873 his pictures The Angler and The Hunters Take a Break were presented at the World Exhibition in Vienna.
In the last years of life Perov worked in Nature and Hunting magazine. He also wrote short stories and they were published in Art Magazine.
The artist’s last work was the large, many-figured painting Nikita Pustosvyat (1881).
Vasily Perov died of consumption in a small hospital near Moscow on June 10, 1882. He was only 48 years old. The artist was buried in the monastery cemetery of the Danilov Monastery.
His son – Vladimir Perov – was also an artist.

The Angler, 1871

The Angler, 1871

Vasily Perov – Russian painter