Museums and Art

Vasily Maksimovich Maksimov, biography and paintings

Vasily Maksimovich Maksimov, biography and paintings

Vasily Maksimovich Maksimov - a master who painted his whole life in a Russian village, peasant life, their traditions and way of life. He was born in 1844 near St. Petersburg, in a family of peasants from the village of Lopino.

The boy lost his parents early and kind people identified him as an apprentice in the icon-painting workshop at the monastery. From 1855 to 1862 he painted icons and studied at the St. Petersburg monastery.

His ability to draw and industriousness led to a logical result - in 1863, at the age of only 18, he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts as a volunteer. His teachers were the most famous artists of that time: academician and professor Fedor Antonovich Bruni, a painter on historical and church subjects Peter Mikhailovich Shamshin and other masters.

In 1864, Vasily Maksimovich, like many students adhering to liberal and democratic views, joined the group of the brother-in-law Peter Alexandrovich Krestonostsev, uniting a diverse and wide circle of young people, including artists. Maximov is talented, he is noticed by teachers and customers.

During his studies at the Academy from 1863 to 1866, Maksimov wrote such works as “Self-portrait and portraits of comrades”, “Peasant girl”, “Heard”, “Following the example of elders” and, of course, performed in 1864 - “Sick Child”, which was a huge success with the audience. For this work, Maximov is given the 3rd degree of the title of a class artist and the main medal with a review "for expressiveness and expression."

Maximov externally for three years graduates from the Academy of Arts, but refuses to participate in the final competition. He follows the example of Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy, who in 1863 with fourteen comrades also refused a big gold medal and a trip abroad, protesting the academic style, contrasting it with real painting.

Maximov explained his refusal by the fact that we must first study Russia, its village, the needs and aspirations that no one knows. At the end of the Academy in 1866, Maximov left for the Tver province as a teacher of painting at the Golenishchev-Kutuzov estate. The flowering of the artist. He plunges into the world of the village and inspiration does not leave him. According to the master himself, "he forever came to village life."

All topics are drawn precisely in rural life: “Motherhood”, “Old Peasant”, “Girl”, “Camping”, “Dream about the future”, “Poor dinner” and many, many others.

In November 1870, he was awarded the title of artist of the 1st degree. Since 1871, he is a participant in the exhibitions of the Wanderers, and since 1874 he is an active member of this partnership. Ilya Efimovich Repin with enthusiasm speaks of him as "the most indestructible stone of the foundation of the Wanderer."

His main paintings and masterpieces were “Grandmother's Tales”, “The Sorcerer's Coming to the Village Wedding” and “Sick Husband”. They have a difficult peasant share, and childhood memories, and knowledge of village rites and customs.

In 1878 he became an academician of the Academy of Arts. His canvases depicting the life of peasants delight even such a great artist as Kramskoy, who was very fond of and eagerly awaiting Maximov's work at exhibitions.

Perhaps, from the last significant works of Maximov until the beginning of the 1900s was the picture "Everything in the Past", written in 1889. But the fate of the artist does not pamper for a long time. With the beginning of the new 20th century, the rhythm of life in the Russian countryside and the whole country as a whole changes. Traveling ideas decline, new directions in painting begin to appear.

Difficult times come for Maximov, there are almost no orders. Lack of money and poverty overtake him. In 1911, Vasily Maksimovich died.

This was a real fighter, until the last days loyal to his chosen path in depicting the real life of ordinary people.

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