Arkhip Kuinji was a Russian painter of Greek origin, master of landscape painting. Actually, he is known as the bard of the Ukrainian night. His surname means goldsmith in Tatar.
Arkhip was born on January 15 (27), 1841 (according to another version in 1842) in Donetsk region, Russian Empire into a family of a poor shoemaker of Greek descent. Soon the boy lost his parents and was raised by his aunt and uncle. Since his childhood Arkhip was fond of painting and drew everywhere – on the walls, fences and scraps of paper. The boy lived in great poverty, so he had to work hard. His passion for drawing drew him to Feodosia, to see Ivan Aivazovsky.
In 1865, Kuinji decided to enter the Academy of Fine Arts and moved to St. Petersburg, but his first two attempts failed. In 1868 he was awarded the title of a free artist. You know, he made friends with Ilya Repin and Viktor Vasnetsov, and was an acquaintance of Ivan Kramskoi, the ideologist of the progressive Russian artists.