Vasily Surikov – master of historical paintings
Vasily Surikov was a great Russian painter, master of large-scale historical paintings.
The boy was born on January 12 (24), 1848 in Krasnoyarsk. His father Ivan Vasilievich Surikov worked as a collegiate registrar and his mother Praskovya Fyodorovna Torshina was a housewife. You know, the boy began to draw at an early age. Nikolai Grebenev was his first teacher. Actually, one of his earliest work was watercolor Rafts on the Yenisei (1862). Now the picture is in the museum-estate of V. Surikov in Krasnoyarsk.
His father died because of tuberculosis. The family owned a two-story house in those years and due to lack of money Praskovya Fyodorovna decided to lease the second floor for income.
After school Surikov found a job as clerk in the provincial administration, because the family had no money to continue his education in high school. While working in the provincial administration Surikov’s works were noticed by Yenisei governor P.N. Zamyatin. The governor found a patron – Peter Kuznetsov, who paid for Surikov’s studying at the Academy of Arts.
On December 11, 1868 Surikov went to St Petersburg but he couldn’t enter the Academy, and in May-July 1869 he studied at the St. Petersburg School of Drawing Society for the Encouragement of Artists. In the autumn of 1869 Vasily passed his exams and became a volunteer at the Academy of Arts, and a year later he became a pupil.