Nikolai Yaroshenko – Russian painter
Nikolai Yaroshenko was a Russian painter and portraitist, active participant of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions.
The future artist was born in December 1846 in Poltava into the family of a Russian officer, who later became a general. In 1855 the boy entered the Poltava Cadet Corps. Along with the daily military training, Nikolai was engaged in painting. Two years later, Yaroshenko was transferred to the First Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg. At the age of 14 Yaroshenko began to study in the studio of the artist Adrian Markovich Volkov.
Having graduated from the Cadet Corps Nikolai entered the Pavlov Military School and began attending evening classes at the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists. Ivan Kramskoy became his teacher.
In 1867 Yaroshenko entered the Artillery Academy, at the same time he began attending classes of the Academy of Arts as a free listener. Then he served in the St. Petersburg cartridge factory.
In the early 1870s, the first portraits of the artist The Old Man with the Snuffbox, Peasant, Old Jew appeared. Yarosheko became a frequent guest at the drawing evenings of Ivan Kramskoy and Pavel Bryullov.
In 1874, Nikolai married Maria Pavlovna Navrotina, who became his faithful companion and friend for the rest of his life.
In 1878 Nikolai joined the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. Only there he exhibited his works. In his works, the artist expressed the spirit of the times, the symbols of the era of reforms of Emperor Alexander II were paintings The Fireman and The Prisoner, presented at the exhibition of the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki).
A remarkable contribution of Yaroshenko to Russian painting was a series of paintings dedicated to advanced Russian youth, revolutionary students.
One of Yaroshenko’s best works was the picture Student, which appeared at the exhibition. This is a kind of historical portrait of the generation, embodying the whole stage of the liberation movement of the 1870s.
Perhaps, his best works were the unique historical images, portraits of outstanding people of the second half of the XIX century, the artist’s contemporaries. The portrait of the actress Pelageya Strepetova was rightfully considered a masterpiece of portraiture of the 1870s and 1880s.
In 1885 Yaroshenko bought a house in Kislovodsk, so-called White Villa, where he lived and worked until his death.
The artist traveled widely in Russia and abroad. He visited 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.