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Russian Personalities

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

Category Archive: Art

Silvestr Shchedrin – landscape painter

Silvestr Shchedrin. Self-portrait

Silvestr Shchedrin. Self-portrait


Silvestr Shchedrin stood at the origins of the Russian romantic landscape. Despite the fact that his life was short, he left behind a lot of wonderful works. The most famous cycle of the artist is The New Rome. Castle of the Holy Angel. Thanks to his works, the landscape in Russia became an independent genre.
Biography of the artist was mainly connected with Italy, where he created his best paintings. In Russia he spent only his youth. Despite the years spent abroad, the artist always felt like a Russian person and was interested in the fate of his homeland. He was born in February 1791 into the family of the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts, Feodosiy Fedorovich Shchedrin. His uncle, Semyon Fedorovich, was a professor at the Academy.
At the age of 9 Shchedrin became a pupil at the Academy. When it was time to choose a specialization, he entered the class of his uncle, specializing in sentimental landscapes. But Semyon Fedorovich unexpectedly died, and the young man chose Professor Mikhail Ivanov. In 1808 the student received a small silver medal. The following year, he was awarded a small gold medal for his success in painting. And in 1812 Shchedrin received a large gold medal for the picture View From The Petrovsky Island.
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Vissarion Belinsky – literary critic

Vissarion Belinsky – literary critic. Picture by K. Gorbunov

Vissarion Belinsky – literary critic. Picture by K. Gorbunov


The nineteenth century is called the Golden Age for Russian literature and the period of the formation of art criticism, the founder and most vivid representative of which is Vissarion Belinsky. The world significance of this person is measured by the quality of his ideas. According to contemporaries, Belinsky, a critic and a Western philosopher, has outgrown the level of bourgeois thought of the time. He established a symbiotic relationship between the writer and the critic whose creative interaction he considered a tool of societal self-exploration.
The influence of this publicist and writer on Russian literature is felt until now. Vissarion first established the correct concepts of prose and poetry in general. It was he who pointed out the direction in which literature was to go to become a social force and a teacher for the younger generation.
Theoretical positions that he developed, have become common property. New literary generations are still based on his relentless search for truth, as well as on the views on the importance of literature in life.

Grandson of the priest and the son of a doctor, future critic and publicist was born in the Penza province on May 30 (June 11), 1811. Vissarion studied at the local grammar school and the Penza Gymnasium. From 1829 to 1832 he studied at the literary department of the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University.
In the student years (1829-1832) Belinsky joined Eleventh Number club. Many problems of philosophy were constantly discussed there. At one of the meetings, Belinsky read the first drama he wrote Dmitri Kalinin, based on the author’s living impressions of serfdom. The future great critic and publicist in his work heatedly attacked the “fatal law” of the landowner class to dispose of the destinies of the peasants. Censorship of the Moscow University banned drama as immoral. As a result, Belinsky was expelled from the university.
He began giving lessons and making translations. At that time, he was closely acquainted with Professor Nadezhdin. In 1831, professor founded a new journal The Telescope and invited Belinsky to translate small articles for his publication. And in September 1834 Vissarion Grigorievich published a series of critical articles Literary Reveries.

In 1835 he began to work as secretary of the famous writer A. Poltoratsky. The journal Telescope, where Vissarion directed the department of criticism, was closed. According to contemporaries, until the beginning of 1838, a well-known publicist and writer survived only thanks to the help of friends.
From March to October 1838, at the invitation of Aksakov Belinsky taught at the Constantinovsky institute, after which he became an unofficial editor in the journal The Moscow Observer. At that time, he often visited the family of M. Shchepkin. In October 1839, Vissarion moved to Petersburg.
In 1843 Belinsky married his childhood friend M. V. Orlova. On June 13, 1845 their daughter Olga was born. The younger two children died in infancy.
Belinsky met all leading Russian authors of his day, from Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin and Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov to Ivan Andreyevich Krylov and Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, befriending and deeply influencing many of them.

In his youth, Belinsky, whose philosophy had always been a hobby, began to study the aesthetics of Romanticism, deepened into the ideas of Schelling, Hegel and Fichte. Already in the early 1840s, he sharply criticized the rationalistic determinism of the concept of progress, concluded that “the fate of the individual is more important than all the destinies of the world.” Evolution of Belinsky’s views was accompanied by an intensification of criticism of philosophical idealism. In his letter to Gogol, Vissarion criticized the church.

Well-known critic and publicist died on May 26, 1848 in Saint-Petersburg. Being married, he left behind a three-year-old daughter and a huge literary heritage.

In addition to Annual Review of current literature, articles about the theater and political and bibliographical notes, in Notes of the Fatherland (1840-1846) Belinsky placed article about Derzhavin, Lermontov, Maikov, Polezhaev, Marlinsky, about Russian folk poetry and a number of great articles, that present the history of Russian literature from Lomonosov to Pushkin’s death.
In 1985, a crater on Mercury was named in honor of Belinsky.
On September 25, 1988, an asteroid discovered on November 5, 1975 by L.I. Chernykh, was named 3747 Belinskij.

Vissarion Belinsky – literary critic

Andrei Ryabushkin – Russian painter

Andrei Ryabushkin - Russian painter

Andrei Ryabushkin – Russian painter


Andrei Ryabushkin is a great Russian artist, who worked in the genre of historical and genre painting. His paintings mostly describe the Moscow way of life of the 17th century.
The boy was born on October 17, 1861 in the village of Stanichnaya Sloboda, Tambov Gubernia. Since childhood Andrei loved art. His father and brother were engaged in iconography and the boy helped them. From time to time Andrei painted icons and just made drawings. When the future great artist was orphaned at the age of 14, A. Preobrazhensky noted his talent in fine art. To tell the truth, Preobrazhensky gave him that very ticket to life and took him to Moscow.
Soon after that, Ryabushkin went to Petersburg in order to enter the Academy of Arts. It was quite easy thanks to his abilities. His diploma work was on a religious theme The Removal from the Cross (1890).
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Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov – Russian painter

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov


The famous Russian historical painter Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov was born on July 16, 1806 in St. Petersburg into the family of Andrey Ivanovich Ivanov, a professor of painting. At the age of eleven he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he was brought up under the guidance of his father. The official head of Ivanov at the Academy was Professor F. Egorov. Having received two silver medals for his success in drawing, the young artist was awarded a small gold medal in 1824 for the painting Priam asking Achilles for the body of Hector. And in 1827 the boy received a large gold medal for the picture Joseph In The Prison Interprets Dreams Of The Courtiers of Pharaoh and the title of the artist of the XIV class. These paintings belong to the early period of Ivanov’s creativity and possess all the classic features: balanced composition, plans, smooth drawing and local color, emotional expressiveness in the interpretation of traditional mythological and evangelical themes.
The images of the art of the Italian Renaissance had great significance for Ivanov. His painting Apollo, Hyacinth and Cypress, Engaged In Music And Singing (1831-34), created already in Rome, is characterized by an unusually fine composition and color harmony and poetic elevation of the interpretation of the images of the ancient myth. The artist reveals the hidden divine meaning of nature.
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Mstislav Dobuzhinsky – Russian painter

Constantin Somov. Portrait of the Artist Mstislav Dobuzhinsky

Constantin Somov. Portrait of the Artist Mstislav Dobuzhinsky


Mstislav Dobuzhinsky was a Russian artist, master of the cityscape (urban landscape), member of the creative association World of Art, art critic, memoirist.
The boy was born on August 2 (14), 1875 in Novgorod. His father served in the St. Petersburg Mikhailovsky Artillery School. After the birth of the son Mstislav’s parents divorced, and his mother, an actress and singer left the family. You know, the father taught his son to illustrate the books he read. Mstislav was fond of history books.
In 1895 the young man entered the Law Faculty of St. Petersburg University. Also he tried to get into the Academy of Arts. In 1899-1901 Mstislav studied in Munich and then in Hungary.
In 1901 in St. Petersburg, he joined the association World of Art. To tell the truth, Dobuzhinsky was the youngest member, but he quickly became popular.
Since 1902 Dobuzhinsky participated in exhibitions. In 1919 he became the first director of the Vitebsk Art School, taught in St. Petersburg private art schools, was a professor at the Academy of Arts. In October 1918, he was elected the scholar curator of the Hermitage.
After 1910 the artist travelled a lot and visited the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Holland and Italy. In Amsterdam he did a study – Peter the Great in Holland (1910) which echoed Serov’s picture Peter the Great.
In 1924, the artist received Lithuanian citizenship and left the USSR.
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Nikolai Ghe – Russian painter

Nikolai Ghe. Self-Portrait, 1893

Nikolai Ghe. Self-Portrait, 1893


Nikolai Ghe was a Russian painter and graphic artist, a master of portraits, historical and religious paintings. The fate of his paintings developed dramatically. The artist destroyed his picture Mercy (1880). The painting Leaving the Last Supper (1889) was one of the best works of Russian painting of that time, but it was criticized by church censorship. And the picture What is truth? Christ and Pilate (1890) was removed from the exhibition for blasphemy in the depiction of Christ. He did not finish the picture Calvary (1892), and the audience saw it only after the death of the artist.
The future artist was born on February 27, 1831 in Voronezh into the family of landowner. Three months after his birth the mother died of cholera. In 1841 the boy was sent to Kiev. Later Nikolai moved to St. Petersburg, where his elder brother lived. To tell the truth, Nikolai first chose the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. But in 1850 he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts. His favorite artist was Karl Bryullov. The young man studied in the Academy for seven years, and in 1857 for the painting Saul Visits The Witch Of Endor he received a large gold medal and the right to travel abroad.
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Russian painter Roman Lyapin

Russian painter Roman Lyapin

Russian painter Roman Lyapin


Russian painter Roman Lyapin is a multiple winner of regular competitions of Tuscany and Lazio. In 1996 he was a Grand Prix winner at the contest Nature Landscape in Altipiane d’Arcinazzo. By the way, he is primarily a landscape painter. Roman began his career in Leningrad. From the beginning of the 1990s the artist lived and taught in Italy for more than ten years.
It was in Rome, the cradle of the arts, where he became a unique original master of the Leningrad and Roman (Accademia di Belle Art di Roma) schools.
His works are full of the spirit of deep inner unity – expressive, light and energetic paintings.
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