2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
The works of the artist Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev (1838 - 1911) are among the best examples of Russian landscape painting. Kiselev possessed exceptional hard work and a desire for improvement, he was duly appreciated by his contemporaries as a landscape painter, teacher and art worker. A talented painter, teacher and publicist, an active member of the Association of Wanderers, professor of the Academy of Arts, Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev left a rich creative heritage to future generations. To date, it is known about 120 of his works that are in museums of the former Soviet republics, and about 800 more works that appear in private and museum collections around the world. However, the fate of many of the landscape painter's works remains unknown.
Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev was born near Helsinki in the town of Sveaborg, in the family of a Russian officer who led the local garrison. Since 1852, 14-year-old Kiselev, at the insistence of his father, studied at2nd Cadet Corps of St. Petersburg. Military studies were difficult for him, the young man was fond of versification and drawing. After studying as a cadet for six years and not completing the course of military education, Kiselev entered the faculty of philology at St. Petersburg University. Three years later, in 1861, due to student unrest, the university was temporarily closed. This event marked the beginning of the creative biography of Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev as a landscape painter.
Beginnings in painting
In the same year, after the closure of the university, Kiselev visits the Imperial Academy of Arts as a volunteer student. A year later, the young man was enrolled in the academy as a student and studied in the class of the famous landscape painter S. M. Vorobyov. During the period of study, Kiselev was awarded a large silver medal from the Academy for one of his works and public approval for another, which later became famous work “View of Moscow Surroundings”, which he presented at the academic exhibition.
1865 was the final year in the academic education of the young painter, and a certified artist of the third degree Kiselev Alexander Alexandrovich decided to leave St. Petersburg.
Little Russian period
He moved to Kharkov and rented a house with a friend on the outskirts of the city. At first, Kiselev spent time studying and studying icon painting, moonlighting as drawing lessons. When the artist married the daughter of a Kharkov professor and children appeared in the family, Alexander Alexandrovich got a job at the local Land Bank. There, as a secretary, he served for almost 10 years.years. A stable income allowed him to provide for his family and paint. During that period, his landscapes of colorful Ukrainian nature were painted, among which the most famous are: “A courtyard in Little Russia”, “Near Kharkov”, “Svyatogorsky Monastery”, “Park in Autumn”. The landscapes were depicted according to academic canons and resembled the canvases of his teacher Vorobyov: three perspective plans and a stage construction of the composition.
Association of Wanderers
Once a traveling exhibition of the Moscow Association of Artists arrived in Kharkov, after which Kiselev dared to change his life and devote himself to painting. Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev at that time was 37 years old, and he was the head of a large family. The artist sent his landscape “View in the environs of Kharkov” to the Association of Wanderers. The jury accepted his work for the exhibition. A few months later, in the spring of 1876, the Association unanimously elected the artist a member of its association, after which Alexander Alexandrovich annually exhibited his canvases in traveling exhibitions.
Since 1877, Kiselev and his family, which already had seven children, settled in Moscow. To support his family, he taught drawing and painting in women's gymnasiums and gave private lessons. Among his students were famous artists of the turn of the 19th - 20th centuries: Ostroukhov, Yakunchikova-Weber, Dosekin, Perepletchikov, Yartsev. He taught the descendants of famous merchantsdynasties that later became patrons, collectors, artists: Ivan and Mikhail Morozov, Anna Botkin, Mikhail Mamontov.
Kiselev worked hard on his landscape paintings. He painted the Moscow suburbs and traveled to other places in Russia, bringing many sketches. In the summer, the Kiselev family rented a rural estate in the picturesque Moscow suburbs, and during the season the artist made up to 50 landscape sketches from nature. In 1891, when the Kiselevs were visiting Bogimovo, the landowner's estate of Bylim-Kolosovsky, A. P. spent the summer here. Chekhov, who became friends with the artist.
Alexander Alexandrovich constantly exhibited his works at many Moscow and St. Petersburg exhibitions, regularly participated in club meetings, such as Shmarovinsky Wednesdays, drawing evenings with Mamontov and Polenov. He often attended symphony concerts, performances at the Bolshoi and Maly Theaters, talked a lot with other artists and writers, and was friends with Repin and Maximov. He spoke about everything in detail in his diary.
By the end of the 1880s, his creative outlook was finally formed, his individual painting style, themes and nature of landscapes were formed. The most famous works of the Moscow period: "On the Pond", "Forgotten Mill", "Gathering Brushwood", "Before a Thunderstorm", "From the Mountain", "Rain".
Russian nobility and collectors willingly bought paintings by artist Kiselyov. Alexander Alexandrovich visited the Crimea andin the Caucasus, after which his mountain landscapes were particularly successful. In 1883, after another exhibition of the Wanderers, Pavel Tretyakov bought Kiselyov's Forgotten Mill for his gallery. From 1883 to 1901, members of the imperial family, including Alexander III himself, acquired several landscapes. These were paintings: “In Venice”, “Crossing”, “Along the Terek”, “At the snowy peaks”, “Mountain river in the Caucasus”, “Still water”.
Kiselev received well-deserved titles and positions. Since 1890, he was in the magazine "Artist", one of the leading theatrical publications of the state, headed the department of fine arts and published many critical articles. In the same year, Kiselev received the title of academician, and three years later he was elected a full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Since 1895, Alexander Alexandrovich moved with his family to St. Petersburg, since Kiselev was invited to the post of class inspector of the Higher Art School at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Two years later at the Academy, he took the place of the head of the landscape workshop. In this position, the artist remained until his death. Alexander Alexandrovich also actively participated in the cultural and social life of Russia.
Having bought an inexpensive plot of land near the city of Tuapse, Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev built a small one-story house by 1902. The estate has been carefully preserved, and it now houses the Kiselev Museum. Once an artist had to borrow money to buildthis dacha where he rested and worked every summer. Kiselev created an extensive series of paintings, the theme of which was Tuapse with its picturesque surroundings, and the name of the artist turned into a kind of symbol of the city. The landscape painter captured magnificent views of the coast with the Kadosh rocks, and one of them, the most beautiful, is named after him.
During the Tuapse period, Kiselev visited many places in the Caucasus and Crimea. He also traveled abroad, visiting France, Germany, Venice, Rome. The most famous paintings of Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev of those years: “The Old Suram Pass”, Kadosh Rocks”, “Mountain River”, “Under the Clouds. On the Georgian Military Highway" "Dacha in the Crimea", "Bazaar in Tuapse", "House in Tuapse", "Tuapse Street", "At the Foot of Kazbek", "Night at the Sea", "Across the Abyss".
Alexander Alexandrovich died suddenly, while working at his desk. The artist, who turned 73, suffered a heart attack. In the last years of his life, Kiselev achieved special speed in his work and extraordinary liveliness of the image.
His cheerful, bright, slightly idealized landscapes reflect the sincere feelings of the author. Kiselev masterfully knew how to capture the beauty and serene state of nature, which is surprisingly transmitted to the viewer contemplating the beautiful canvases of the landscape painter.
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