Igor Emmanuilovich Grabar was born on March 25, 1871, in Budapest. An inexhaustible torch of inspiration burned in him. Igor Grabar was a bright, multifaceted, creative person who devoted himself to the high service of art.
The artist grew up in a high-ranking family of lawyer, public figure and deputy of the Hungarian legislation Emanuel Grabar. Mother conducted educational activities. His grandfather was the spiritual and political leader of the Transcarpathian Rusyns, belonged to an old noble family. From childhood, he raised a truly Russian spirit in his grandson. Igor’s father emigrated to Russia from 1876, settled in Yegoryevsk, where he taught foreign languages at the gymnasium, under the conspiratorial name Khrabrov. The family moved to him in the Ryazan region in 1880. Soon he was transferred to Ishmael.
The boy had a brother Vladimir, who in the future received the profession of a lawyer. Igor Grabar lived in Russia from the age of nine. He showed a passion for painting from early childhood. From 1880 to 1882 he studied at the Yegoryevsk gymnasium, where his father taught. Igor attended music classes with Varvara Zhitovskaya with pleasure, loved to read books from her home library.
In 1882, the young man entered the Moscow Lyceum of Tsarevich Nikolai, who graduated with a gold medal. The young man was poor, but he made a good impression of himself. He loved to visit art exhibitions, the Tretyakov Gallery, met interesting people. Pictures fascinated him! He studied in the drawing classes of the society of art lovers.
In 1889, the artist entered the law faculty of the University of St. Petersburg, where his elder brother studied. In parallel, the young man studied as a philologist, wrote articles on history and literature, and compiled biographies of famous artists. In 1892, Grabar studied under Professor Pavel Chistyakov. Later he successfully entered the Academy of Arts. The young man loved to travel abroad. The culture of Italy, France and Germany made a huge impression on him. In Paris, he was captivated by the impressionism of artists. Igor Grabar studied in Repin's workshops. He studied at a Munich private school-studio under the guidance of the artist A. Ashbe. The teacher noticed his unique talent, and appointed the head of the group to conduct classes with students in drawing.
I.E. Grabar adored Benoit. He was a participant in the exhibition "World of Art". In 1913, he was honorably appointed to the post of trustee of the Tretyakov Gallery. He was a full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts. He was friends with Trotsky's wife. He lived in the estate of Titovo, the owner of which was his aunt. Here, a gifted artist inspiredly opened the theme of “hoarfrost”. Living in Duglino, he became interested in the plot “snow”, creating picturesque winter landscapes. Igor Grabar created unusual paintings. Acquaintance with the artist N. Mescherin led to a fateful meeting with his future wife Valentina, the niece of her colleague. Valentine gave birth to two children - Olga and Mstislav.
After the revolution, the brush master was engaged in the preservation and restoration of paintings. He led the Moscow restoration workshops. In 1921, I. Grabar received the title of professor at Moscow State University. He gave lectures, organized exhibitions, worked with the younger generation. The new modern center under the leadership of A.P. Vladimirov bears his name.
During the Great Patriotic War, he was engaged in preserving the collection of objects of art and decorative art. Igor Grabar was the head of the commission to seize paintings from estates, icons from temples and monasteries to save them. By the works of him and colleagues many relics were preserved. They included icons, murals, shrines, painting, ancient Greek ceramics, manuscripts of the Middle Ages. During the war, he prepared the "trophy" units to the front, took echelons with works of art. He was evacuated to Georgia.
Igor Emmanuilovich was the creator of scientific works about Repin and Serov. He headed the Moscow State Art Institute. He had the honorary titles of academician of the AHSSSR, academician of the ANSSSR, people's artist of the USSR, laureate of the Stalin Prize, 1st degree. He worked as the head of the expert bureau, compiled lists of the best works of art by museums in Germany and other countries. The artist carried out restoration work in the monasteries of the Moscow region, created the museum of ancient Russian art by A. Rublev.
He died on May 16, 1960. The great brush master went through a huge creative path, filled with various events and useful social activities. His works are world famous.