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Sergey Ivanov – Russian painter

Osip Braz. Portrait of Sergey Ivanov, 1903

Osip Braz. Portrait of Sergey Ivanov, 1903


Sergey Ivanov was a Russian painter.
The boy was born on June 16, 1864 in Ruza, Moscow province into the family of an exciseman. You know, Sergey showed artistic ability already in his childhood. By the way, his father thought that there was no difference between painting and drawing and decided that his son should become an engineer. At the age of 11 Sergey entered the Konstantinovsky Institute of Land Surveying. However, the boy wanted to paint and at the age of 14 he entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as an external student.
From 1882 to 1884, Ivanov studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Then, he left the Academy and moved to Moscow. In 1883 he painted his first picture Blind Folk, which was created after his journey to the Volga area. To tell the truth, the artist was interested in the life of the peasants. In 1884, Sergey returned to the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and graduated from it in 1885. During that time, he painted Patient (1884), Near The Tavern (1885), To The Landowner With A Request (1885), At The Prison (1884-1885), Agitator In The Train (1885). Also he began working on a series of pictures on resettlement (1885-1890).

The artist showed acute social problems. In particular, his attention was drawn to the phenomenon typical of the Russian countryside in the last quarter of the 19th century: in the second half of the 1880s, a resettlement to Siberia began. Only in the last decades of the nineteenth century, several millions of peasants left their miserable allotments, miserable huts, and went in search of “fertile lands.” His pictures present horrifying scenes from the life of the resettlers. People rushed, inspired by utopian dreams, towards hard tests and most often cruel disappointments. Illness and death were the constant companions of those people. The tragedy of landless peasants was the main idea of the series of his paintings. Since that time, Ivanov had become a kind of chronicler of the tragic phenomenon in the life of the Russian peasantry.
The picture On The Road. Death Of A Migrant (1889, Tretyakov Gallery) brought the young artist fame.
Since the mid-1890s the artist began to create historical paintings. Also Ivanov painted Stepan Razin and Yemelian Pugachov, the leaders of popular uprisings.
At the turn of 1889-1890 Ivanov, along with Serov, Levitan, Korovin, was a recognized leader among Moscow artists of the younger generation.
In 1899, Ivanov joined the Association of the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki). He was an innovator of the historical genre composing Russian episodes of the Middle Ages in Art Nouveau style. The artist had a new look at the historical past of the homeland. He didn’t portray the heroic moments of the events, but the scenes of everyday life of the ancient Russians.

During the armed uprising in 1905 in Moscow, he was a witness and participant. The artist helped the wounded students right in the building of Moscow University on Mokhovaya Street.
In 1905, Sergey was awarded the honorary title of Academician. Besides, in the same year, he painted Execution, which became one of his most impressive historical-revolutionary works.
In 1908-13 he painted 18 pictures for the project Pictures of Russian History.
He taught at the Stroganov School of Industrial Art (1899-1906) and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1900 / 1903-1910).
Moreover, he was a member of the exhibitions of the Moscow Society of Art Lovers (1887, 1889, 1894), Association of the Wanderers (1887-1901), The Union of 36 (1901, 1902), World of Art (1903), the Union of Russian Artists (1903-1910).
Ivanov fruitfully worked as a master of etching and lithography, as well as an illustrator of works by Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Pushkin and many other famous writers.
The artist died on August 16, 1910 in the village Svistuha (now Dmitrov District, Moscow Region).

The Agitator in a Train Carriage, 1885

The Agitator in a Train Carriage, 1885

Sergey Ivanov – Russian painter