Vladimir Borovikovsky – Outstanding Painter
Vladimir Borovikovsky (1757-1825) was a Russian painter of Ukrainian origin, the master of the portrait.
Borovikovsky was born on July 24 (August 4), 1757 in Mirgorod into Cossack family. Father, uncle and brother of the future artists were painters. In his youth, Vladimir studied icon painting under the guidance of his father.
In 1774, the boy served in the Mirgorod Cossack regiment.
In the first half of the 1780s Borovikovsky retired and devoted himself to painting. He drew for the local churches.
In the 1770s the artist decorated the room in the house in Crimea, destined for the reception of the Empress. Catherine II noted the work of the artist, and ordered him to move to St. Petersburg. Borovikovsky found himself in the company of poets whose interests and ideas were linked to the new wave in literature—sentimentalism. At the center of his attention was man’s inner world and unique individuality.
In 1795 Borovikovsky was awarded the title of academician of painting for a portrait of Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich.
At the end of the 1790s, Borovikovsky became famous portraitist. In female images he embodied the ideal of beauty of his era.
He is also a recognized master of portrait miniatures.
In his last years Borovikovsky returned to religious painting, in particular painted some icons for Kazan Cathedral, the iconostasis of the Church of the Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg. Borovikovsky was a charming person, gentle of character. His pupils—among the favorites was Alexei Venetsianov — lived in his house like members of the family.
Borovikovsky died on April 6 (18), 1825 in St. Petersburg and was buried at Smolensky Cemetery. In 1931, the remains were reburied in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
After the October Revolution, works which had been scattered around stately homes and private collections found their way into museums and galleries and now give a fair idea of the rich legacy of this outstanding master.