Архив автора: Elena

Pavel Chistiakov as an individual, artist, and a mentor

Three years running, I am going for my summer open-air sessions to the town of Pushkin, former Tsarskoye Selo. This name of the town is the one I’m more familiar with because it is initially given to this city and historically more consistent. In addition to this, the town of Tsarskoye Selo is called Muses’ town. It’s true, the muses favoured creative people: poets, artists, writers, architects, and musicians. Near the Lyceum, where Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin studied, the stone with the inscription «To the Genius of the Place» has been installed. Indeed, if the genius of this place does exist, it embodies the spirit of creativity.
There are many places in the town of Tsarskoye Selo, which are closely related to the presence of the famous people — scientists, writers, poets. One of them is the House Museum of Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov located on the Moscow Road (former Fridental Colony). The settlement of this area began in the years of 1816-1827. Due to the census of 1897, there were 228 people living there, most of whom were artisans who produced haberdashery: ribbons, laces, tapes. The Moscow Roadway is an old road which led from Tsarskoye Selo to Moscow as opposed to a straight road which came through Slavianka to Izhora. A trip on this road was allowed only to those people who had the right to do that or had an urgent need. Behind the Moscow Gates, there was an outpost. On one side of the road (on the left if you are back to the Gospitalnaya street), there were the houses of colonists while on the right there were the country houses of wealthy people.
In one of these houses, lived Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov, who, according to Vladimir Stasov, was the teacher of all Russian artists. He lived there from 1876 to 1919, until his death This country house (dacha), later the artist’s residential home, was situated in the amazingly picturesque settings. Between the Pavlovsk roadway and the Moscow roadway, there was the Separate (Otdelny) Park designed in the style of English landscape design. Here there is the extensive Colonist Pond and the dacha of Grand Prince Boris Alexandrovich, built as an English cottage. For Pavel ChistiakovTsarskoye Selo and its surroundings had been quite familiar. Before the construction of his big country house, Pavel Petrovich had had a small home in one of the villages near the town of Pavlovsk. The dacha next belonged to V.V.Deriker, who was a prominent homoeopath in St.Petersburg and the stepfather of the painter’s future wife V.E.Meier-Chistiakova. Later on, N.I.Vavilov, a distinguished scientist and geneticist lived in this country house.
The dacha of P.P.Chistiakov was designed by A.H.Kolb, the architect who was a former student of A.P.Briullov. Nevertheless, the artist himself and his wife Vera Egorovna were very much involved in the creation of the exteriors of this house and its interiors. Wood carving on the facade, a weather-vane and the ceiling painting in the dining room — all these elements of decorum were included in the composition of the house by the architect who was influenced by the artist’s ideas. The idea of the additional entrance to his studio from the street also had come from Pavel Petrovich; similarly, the wishes of the artist were implemented by the architect when the studio was being designed.
Pavel Petrovich and his family lived in this house for decades. The walls of this house witnessed many events; many people have been here. This house made a good impression on people. It looked like the house whose residents lived in plenty. A large circle of friends and family gathered there. But above all, anyone who needed help and support could get them in this house. The doors of this house were opened to all in need. Many artists, scientists, and writers were here such as V.E.Savinsky, N.A. Bruni, A.A.Rizzoni, A.L.Ober, N.A.Laveretsky, A.P.Karpinsky, I.V.Ershov. The family members of the families of D.I.Mendeleev, O.D.Forsh, and I.I.Sreznevsky used to visit the house of Pavel Chistiakov. Next to Pavel Chistiakov’s house there where the houses where lived the artists M.N.Vasiliev, K.A.Gorbunov and sculptor M.V.Kharlamov.
Pavel Petrovich and his wife Vera Egorovna, who possessed great artistic abilities, were the heart and soul of this house. Her self-portrait painted in the years when she was young, we can see in the dining room. However, the young artist didn’t go on the path of developing her talent, totally dedicating herself to her family. In 1928, Olga Forsh, the famous Soviet writer, and S.P. Yaremich, the art historian, wrote a book about Pavel Chistiakov. Olga Forsh describes the dining room: «The table, narrow and long; in the dining room, created according to the design of Pavel Petrovich, there are the walls panelled with white wood. In the middle there is an arch: green ivy, covered it, creeping down on the white windows». [3.298]
Quite often many people gathered at the table in the dining room. O.D.Forsh tells us that the artist had a great pity for people. Apart from his countless relatives from the Tver region, many strangers, including teenagers, always lived in the house.» [3.298]
Next door to the dining room is the living room. The decoration of its interior gives a complete picture of the lifestyle of intelligent people in the 19th century. There are the photos and pictures of Pavel Petrovich and Vera Matveevna Baruzdina, his disciple and niece. Pavel Petrovich was of the high opinion of his niece’s talent. He said that the only two people who mastered his artistic and pedagogical system were Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov and Vera Matveevna Baruzdina.
One can imagine how the evening parties passed in this living room: somebody was playing big piano, the music was playing and the guests were having the nice conversations looking at the photos in the family album. The next room is a small living room. This room gives us the information about the friends of Chistiakov. There are the portraits of the writer Olga Forsh, J.V.Durdin, the artist’s nephew and many other people who were close to Chistiakov’s family on the walls. Nowadays temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists are being arranged in the small living room.
It goes without saying, the artist’s studio itself is the «holy of holies» at this home. Well light and thought-out, this studio was designed according to the wishes and needs of the artist. The light penetrates into the room from the huge window looking to the Moscow road and from a smaller window on the next wall. This room looks like it is filled with air, and it’s easy to breathe when working in it, and you want to create something beautiful. Many paintings that are created in the different years can be seen here on the walls of this room.
The portraits of an Italian girl, a custom-made picture of a woman and a male portrait are among them. Two of his pictures draw our attention: it is «The Blessing of Children» and the portrait of the mother, which is painting with great love, attention to a detail and great mastery. Before the renovation of the museum, which began in 2006 and finished only in summer 2009, visitors could just see the canvas «The Last Minute of Messalina, the Wife of Emperor Claudius.» This painting was supposed to be some sort of a report on his training experience in Italy. The artist had been painting it for many years, but, unfortunately, he did not finish it for many reasons, and still, it remains as the study guide on how to create a picture of a large size. All stages of this composition can be seen. When the museum building was renovated, the picture was taken to the State Russian Museum for the restoration, and due to the fact that the size of this canvas didn’t allow it to be transported in a usual way, in other words, to be taken from the studio on the canvas stretcher, the picture had to be taken from its canvas stretcher and wind on the roller. When it had been restored, therefore, to bring it back, it was necessary to take it again from the canvas stretcher that would make no sense and the colourful layer would be damaged. So, the master’s work remained in the Russian Museum.
The artist’s studio is a place where he stays alone with himself and his images which then enter the world and become close to a spectator. However, Chistiakov gave his heart and soul to people not only by delivering his ideas through his pictures. Today he would have been characterized as a teacher God gifted teacher. At the time he had come to St.Petersburg, he entered the Academy of Arts. He was pretty young. Not only did he set a goal just to gain professional knowledge and acquire skills which were so necessary for him as a professional artist, but do deal with many other mundane goals. He had to solve such issues as how to get by in the capital, to make a living, and more importantly, save the money which he had earned. Pavel Petrovich lived far from the Academy, near the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. There were days when he had to walk about 30 miles, saving the money for a cabman. In addition to this, he had to visit his students at their home and give them lessons on drawing.
Paradoxically, teaching began to play a totally different role in his life. It had become the area of his expertise. In addition to his private lessons, he had classes at the School of the Arts Promotion Society. The pedagogical activities of Pavel Petrovich were not always in favourable conditions. For a long time (about 20 years) he worked at the Academy as an Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Professor on Duty. And only in 1892, he received the rank of the Second Degree Professor. However, he didn’t have an official personal studio where he could teach students. His classes on drawing, arranged in his home studio, were free of charge for the students. He attracted the attention of many people. He was highly respected by many artists, who had graduated the Academy and then took lessons from him. One of his students was Ilya Repin.
And only at the end of his academic service, after the resignation of Ilya Repin from the Academy, Chistiakov received his personal studio, the former studio of Ilya Repin. Unfortunately, he was not very young to use this benefit long time. After two years of teaching at the personal Academic studio (1908-1910) and after two more years, in 1912, Pavel Petrovich retired.
«One is never a prophet in one’s own country». This well-known saying comes to my mind when thinking about Pavel Chistiakov and his professional career. Moreover, during the years of his service at the Academy Chistiakov didn’t have a personal studio, but being in the position of the head of the Mosaic Workshop of the Academy of Arts, he had to do the work to which he did not incline. It was the administrative work: he had to supervise the process of creation of the mosaics for temples and other public buildings throughout Russia.
Undoubtedly, it is vital for a person who chooses art as a profession finding their way of life to meet a wise mentor. For many artists, including almost all our outstanding masters, was Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov. He was highly respected by such famous artists as I.E.Repin, V.I.Surikov, M.I.Vrubel, V.A.Serov, M.V.Nesterov. He was able to recognise the talents of young artists and properly guide them. Being able to teach is a high art. The process of studying itself became very interesting and captivating for the students who studied with Pavel Chistiakov because his method was not based on the classical traditions elaborated during the centuries. Insisting on studying real life, Pavel Petrovich didn’t force his students to fit their drawings to traditional examples.
Contrary to the classical methods of drawing when the artists had to copy carefully the object they drew, follow classical antique canons and even improve the imperfections of models by trying to make them look like ideal antique examples, Chistiakov taught his students to see nature and the world around us and to perceive the image as a whole. «Draw the nose, but think about the ear.» For the students, this instruction had become one of the vital principles to be used when drawing an object. Chistiakov also taught his students how to see the colour and tonal correlations in painted objects.
In the opinion of Pavel Petrovich, the artist, creating their painting, should not be focused on the excellent proportions of human bodies or the perfectly well-arranged environment, as it was vital for the traditional academic method of painting. The relationships between heroes and their emotions is that is really important. It was these principles that he used in his paintings. Starting with the composition «Sofia Vitovtovna at the wedding of the Great Prince Basil the Dark» painted for the big gold medal contest which gave him the right to go abroad for professional training experience.
Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov showed his interest in all phenomena of life. He studies the history of art, followed the news of artistic life, read art critique. In addition to this, interests were not alien to literature, natural science and music: he had an inquisitive mind. Even Ilya Repin in his memories «Close distant past» admitted that Pavel Petrovich liked theorising very much.
Regrettably, this so energetic and talented person did not adequately fulfil his ambitions. After his death, many of his paintings remained unfinished. In his diaries and letters, he paid lots of attention to the ideas about art and pedagogical methods. Unfortunately, the research work on the methods of art teaching had not been created. Pavel Petrovich had always dreamt of that work. Nevertheless, his method of teaching has proved as a very effective for many generations of students. This method is still being used for teaching realistic drawing.
And perhaps, the fact that the house in Tsarskoye Selo where he lived for many years has survived and the memorial museum has been created in it could be regarded as a miracle. I.V.Durdin, the grandson of the artist, recalled how the town of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) looked when he saw it in the first months after its liberation. The palaces, parks and many of the town’s buildings were burnt: the town itself was severely damaged. However, the house of Pavel Chistiakov began to change in the pre-war years. In the lifetime of the teacher, when the avant-garde tendencies in art began to gain strength, the artist was unrecognized by the new authorities, treating him as a bourgeois painter and taken away from him his pension and all his academic titles. He died in his home in a cold and hungry 1919. Gradually, the house where the family of artist lived, was «densified», as it was said in the first years of Soviet power. It was characteristic of that period. The existing rooms were divided into the even more significant number of rooms. Therefore, the private apartment had been redesigned: it had served its purpose as a communal apartment. The rooms were shared by a few different families. The studio of Pavel Petrovich rented the Leningrad Union of Artist of the RSFSR.
Such artists as V.E.Savinsky, A.P.Pochtenny, T.P.Liakin, A.V.Mazhaev worked there.
The famous pavilion «The weeping of Yaroslavna», where on the ground floor were located service room and in 1916 lived the writer Olga Forsh with her family, had been destroyed after years of neglecting. The writer returned to the Chistiakov house after the WWII. She lived in the house from1947 to1953 and worked in the artist study over the novels «The Mikhailovsky Castle» and «The Firstborn of Freedom».
But things go back to square one. In 1929, on the initiative of the circle of Pavel Chistiakov and to the 10th anniversary of his death, a plaque was installed at his home. At that time, the memorial plaque was installed in the studio. On this plate it was written: «Posterity, guard the place for the creative activity of the great artist and teacher Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov.» On 1 June 1958, by the 125 anniversary of the artist’s birth, at the Kazan Cemetery of the town of Pushkin was unveiled a headstone monument.
The decision to establish the memorial museum was adopted by the Leningrad Executive Committee (Lengorispolkom) in 1979, and the museum itself was opened in April 1987.
The creation of a memorial museum or even an exhibition is not an easy task as it may seem. It depends on many factors. In the main, for the scientific community, two ways are possible. The first one is showing the atmosphere of the epoch and putting forward the image of the protagonist to whom the exposition is dedicated.The most illustrative example of such an approach is the House Museum (whose another name is the house of the Turbins) in Kiev, where the original writer’s belongings are adjacent to the imitations of the real objects painted white. The research fellows used this method to focus on the historical artefacts, separating them from the replicas. The exhibits are highlighted by the light which is directed to them. The technique which is used by the designers of the exhibition help visitors to concentrate on the objects and immerse in a particular historical environment.
The second method is to focus on the authenticity of the environment and the exhibits, which are to be shown at the highest level of professionalism, so the spectator not only could see them, but feel the magic of the person to whom the exposition is dedicated. It was this method which the staff of the Chistiakov House-Museum chose.
The fact that the relatives of Pavel Chistiakov preserved his paintings, as well as the furniture of his house and his studio, also played a decisive role. It was the significant contributions of O.E. Meyer, the niece of Chistiakov’s wife, and Y.V.Durdin, the grandson of Pavel Petrovich, who donated the artist’s belongings and precious documents to the museum. As in the old days, the house welcomes its guests. The atmosphere of hospitality and comfort are the features which are very important for the visitors. One of the museum’s halls, a small living room, was given to artists for temporary exhibitions. On the second floor, there is a lecture room where the film about Chistiakov is demonstrated. Musical events are also held in the living room. The museum is open to people.
Admittedly, the House Museum of Pavel Chistiakov is not as a popular tourist destination as the world famous parks in Tsarskoye Selo: no crowds of people, no countless number of shuttles can we see here. This museum is designed for a narrower audience, specialists and the people of interest in the Russian Art of the 2d half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. But each person who enters the museum is always fascinated by its cordial atmosphere: everyone is loved and welcome here. All that remains to wish the museum to have more visitors coming here. Many of us have seen «The Idiot”. The TV series, directed by Vladimir Bortko, was based on the eponymous novel written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. A large part of this film was filmed here — at the Chistiakov’s dacha (Lebedev’s dacha in the movie).These episodes were filmed in the authentic settings: it plays a very important role in the creation of the environment of the 19th century. I like coming here. The atmosphere of this place is similar to the atmosphere of Chekhov’s drama plays and stories. This house with the front porch and veranda, the garden, where many flowers are changing each other every season, entice you to stay here for some time sitting on the bench and reflecting on something. It seems that the next moment the owner of this house will join you for starting a slow conversation. It’s really enjoyable, and I’d like to express my gratitude to the museum’s staff for keeping all these treasures for us.

November, 2009


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6. Чурилова, Е.Б. Дом-музей П.П. Чистякова. Путеводитель. Ленинград, Художник
РСФСР, 1988. 16 с.
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Visiting master

Museum-apartment of A.I.Kuindzhi My impressions

The fact that everything is always changing is no more a secret these days.     It seems that craving for novelty nowadays has reached its limits. We are looking for novelty in everything: from new objects and events to scientific discoveries, which give us the key to our understanding the world around us.

     New clothes, books, music, everyday objects, finally making acquaintances and communication with new people. New technological breakthroughs help people: telephone, the Internet, mobile communication, TV, etc.  In this case, the distance does not matter, but the magical world of advertising promises people all new and new possibilities.      

Virtual communication is becoming a real alternative to the world  where we live. Such public places as cafés, restaurants, clubs are becoming popular meeting points. On the other hand, considering the home environment as an intimate space, we try to limit access there even for friends.

The article is devoted to creative work of Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi, an outstanding Russian artist. The creative, pedagogical and public activity of this artist, contributed to the activity of the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts. The results of his work are widely used by the mentors and students of the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts.  This article focuses on to the last period of the master’s life, and the history of Arkhip Kuindzhi Memorial Considering the previous statements, the role of memorial museums is exceptional.  It goes without saying that our city is widely known not for its great museums, which are considered as the main treasure houses of national and the world cultural objects such as The Hermitage, The Russian State Museum, The Museum of Ethnography, but also is remarkable for its museums of a smaller size — memorial museums. Such memorial museums as the museums-apartments of A.S.Pushkin, N.A.Nekrasov and V.V.Nabokov, are known not only in our city.

      The Russian Academy of Arts is keeping to the remarkable tradition: the tradition of the organization and maintenance of memorial museums. The Academy of Arts Research Museum comprises of a few old memorial museums, such as the House Museum of Ilya Repin in Penates (nowadays it is the township of Repino), I.I.Brodsky Apartment Museum, which is located on the Arts Square in St.Petersburg, S.T.Konenkov Apartment Museum in Moscow, as well as relatively new memorial museums: the Museum Dacha of P.P.Chistiakov in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and the Apartment Museum of A.I.Kuindzhi, located on Birzhevaya Linya of Vaslilyevsky Island, house 1/10.

     To what extent are related to each other personal life of an artist and his creativity? We often ask ourselves this question. Is the daily routine as a part of the life of outstanding people interesting for us? If you set the goal «to pick somebody’s pieces,» it might be vital for some people. But in this case, it doesn’t make sense to delve into history, just look at the life of your neighbor or to get to know from the media about the scandalous details from the life of another celebrity.

And what if we consider the private life of a person as a part of a cultural climate of that time?


Today, the memorial museums of artists and writers sparkle considerable interest among people looking for various cultural activities. The Memorial Exhibition dedicated to the life and activity of Karl Gustav Mannerheim, the world-famous Finnish commander, is a bright example of such a scientific approach: it was held in 2005 in the State Hermitage. As a result of the work of the Russian and Finnish experts, this exhibition attracted the attention of many visitors who are interested in the history of relationships between our countries. The work of these experts was crowned with success.

  The dry facts of history are presented in a new light, and history itself and the life of a person who left traces in our memory becomes closer to us, as it seems, and this person is perceived not as an abstract character who left the stage, but we feel the effect of their presence.

     Visiting the artist’s studio is a memorable event for those people, for whom art is not the area of their expertise, but who is interested in learning the art. On the other hand, visiting a memorial studio is also very important for artists regarding such an event as visiting the studio of one of their colleagues. 

Every artist’s studio has its aura that characterizes its owner as an expert and tells us about their mindset. It is essential for the artist to learn from classics as well as from their friends and contemporaries. In addition to this, when visiting Memorial museums-studious, contemporary artists come to realize that these already gone classics are to be considered by them as the older friends and colleagues, to whom they come to reflect, consult and recharge their creative energy.      The memorial museums and the artist studios, established as the branches of the Scientific Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, give us this unique opportunity. Undoubtedly, these museums are very different because of the different personalities of their owners whose life these museums represent. Such museums as I.E.Repin Museum-manor «Penates,» P.P.Chistiakov Museum-dacha in Tsarsloye Selo give us the vivid pictures of the artists’ studios and homes. On the walls of these museums, we can see many photos of friends and relatives of these artists, in a word, those people commonly called the circle of close companionship. There also are many drawings and paintings created by the hosts as well as the other artists who visited these apartments. For example, I.I.Brodsky Apartment-Museum is very important for us not only as a Museum-Apartment of a remarkable man and a cultural figure but for the collection of first-class artworks, which Brodsky collected all his life. Many of these items are unique, for many artists who are at the beginnings of their careers, it is a kind of examples, from which they study art.

     The Museum Exposition in the apartment of A.I.Kuindzhi was formed relatively recently, in the year of 1994. The difficulty of its formation was that unlike the museums mentioned above, almost nothing of the home and personal belongings of A.I. Kuindzhi has remained. The staff of the museum set a noble goal: to pay a debt of gratitude to a person whose basic life principle was to help to all those who need help.

  The life of Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi cannot be described as mild and cloudless. All his life he had to withstand the tests of endurance and deal with problems.The artist came from a low-income family, in the early years he lost his parents, being brought up by his older brother. He got to know what hard work is about from his experience. Following his dream, he had always helped those people who had the aspirations to comprehend the beautiful. His way to St. Petersburg and the Academy of Arts was not easy. When he was a young man, admiring by the paintings of Konstantin Aivazovsky, Kuindzhi had walked the way from Mariupol to Feodosia. He passed this way together with chumaks.These people were engaged in the trade and delivery of goods, in particular, salt. We know not much about the life of Arkhip Kuindzhi in Feodosia. The only known fact is that he didn’t become the apprentice of the prominent seascape painter. Evidently, he didn’t find Maestro at home, because he was away.  From other sources, we get to know that the level of skills of the young man wasn’t sufficient to take classes from so prominent artist as Aivazovsky was. Kuindzhi might assume that for such crowned with laurels master as it was Aivazovsky, it would be more interesting to have more trained students. There is a legend in which it is said that Kuindzhi had got to know the critical opinion of maestro about his capabilities. Aivazovsky believed that this young admirer of him had enough talent only to paint the fences. So Arkhip did exactly this task, painting the fences at the site of the great marine painter. In fact, the first serious lessons on painting  Kuindzhi got from K.Fessler the former student of Konstantin Aivazovsky. Kuindzhi had to come back to Mariupol. However, he had never given up his dream of becoming an expert in his area, and his belief that he could perfectly express himself was only getting stronger.

     Being driven by this dream, he went to St.Petersburg.  He had become an external student of St.Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts.

        Like for any person coming from the province, it is hard to get accustomed to the environment of the capital as long as there was a significant gap between hot and sunny Mariupol, its grassroots surroundings and cold and aristocratic St.Petersburg. In addition to this, Kuindzhi had to deal with the difficulties caused by insufficiency of his general education. In fact, he was a semi-literate young man, and we don’t know for sure whether or not he received a complete primary education. Even when he had to be given the title of a class artist in the year of 1968 for the picture «A Tatar Saklya in Crimea in the Moonlight,» the problem of passing exams on general and precise subjects such as History of Art, Perspective, and others, had arisen. The administration of the Academy made concessions to allow Kuindzhi to take the exam minimizing the requirements to the candidate.

      It wasn’t the case of Kuindzhi only. There were other similar cases. The Academy had been gradually changing, moving away from the traditional rules and regulations of classicism and accepting many young people from different social classes. On the other hand, there was the position expressed by the group of artists headed by Ivan Kramskoy. He stood for the equality of rights to choose any topic: apart from historical and religious subjects,  the problems of people’s everyday life were vital for him and his circle. The activity of this group determined the development of the Russian art for the nearest decades and the emergence of the new aesthetics. It was the time of heated debates in arts and politics. As an artist, Arkhip Kuindzhi has been strongly influenced by these modern trends. Such questions as the questions about his future position in arts and social life, whether he would become a true master, and what he be doing for a living, were vital for him. He had neither sponsorship nor moral support. This challenging situation led him to the negative thoughts. Once, he was on the verge of making such a crucial for himself decision as to quit the Academy and give up his hopes of being an artist. Then, Victor Vasnetsov had found him in a workshop of a photographer where Kuindzhi went to work as a retoucher. Vasnetsov talked Kuindzhi come back to his studies in the Academy.

   Ilya Repin wrote about that period: » Those days the life of the young people who were studying art revolved around the attics of the Academy of the Academy of Arts, where Arkhip Kuindzhi,  a humble poor young man had appeared. Nobody had noticed his appearance at first. Kuindzhi had great shortcomings in education. Being narrow-minded, abrupt and behaving like a savage, he did not recognize any traditions.

He, as it is called, was going straightforward, and, sometimes even insulted traditional relics of art, considering it outdated. He used his mind to delve into the problems.» Nevertheless, despite his categorical approach, he was honest and human, no matter how his life was difficult, he had always tried to help those people who were worse off than him. Many people were happy to communicate with him; he was loved for his openness, candor, and uncompromisingness. One of his first apartments, which he rented in St.Petersburg, was the flat whose landlady was somebody of Mazaniha. It was located at the corner of Bolshoi Prospect and the Fifth Line of Vasilievsky Island. It had always been opened for his fellow-students of the Academy of Arts. The notable events of social life and art, as well as other topical subjects, which were discussed at his tea parties, are remaining in memory of people. Everyone had the sense of belonging to the single large family.

  I.E.Repin specifies another address of A.I.Kuindzhi. It is the house of Grebionka, on the corner of Bolshoy Prospect and the Sixth Line of Vasilievsky island. Those days there were the apartment and studio of the artist. It was another period of his life, the time when he was widely recognized. Visiting the exhibitions with his canvases, which looked as they were glowing from inside, people were trying to get to know the secret of this luminiferous painting. «From time to time, many cab drivers with their passengers drove to the house, which was situated at the corner of the Sixth line near the market, where the artist lived. Those people climbed the steep stairs to the top and called to The Wizard. They called A.I Kuindzhi The Wizard because of the impossibility to unravel the secret of the color in the artist’s paintings and his style of applying the oil paints to the canvas. So great was the influx of visitors that Kuindzhi had  finally hung the ad in which wrote: «Nobody is admitted.»

Using the modern language, the acquisition of stardom didn’t lead the artist to look down on others. In his private life, Kuindzhi didn’t keep an extravagant lifestyle, as it did I.N. Kramskoy.

     Having become one of the recognized leaders in Russian landscape painting, A.I. Kuindzhi had always remembered the years of his poverty and hardship, not holding grudges on someone who might not be conscious of it, caused him trouble. For example, he had never talked back about  I.K Aivazovsky, who had not expressed his enthusiasm about the earliest creative works of A.I. Kuindzhi. Despite all hardships of his young years, he had no desire to «take revenge» for the years of poverty by leading the extravagant lifestyle: on the contrary, in a real sense, he was a skilled person who had common sense.

          In 1873 he married V.E.Ketcherzhi, a young lady from a wealthy merchant family, he loved for many years. Then, in this case, he showed his proud, independent and purposeful character, and only when he stood to his own feet and was able to maintain his family, only after that, he announced and fulfilled his decision. He brought his young wife from Mariupol to St.Petersburg. They rented an apartment, which was furnished with the modest furniture. All the belongings of the married couple were purchased at sales. The only expensive thing  —   a wedding gift to his fiancée — was the big piano, on which Arkhip Ivanovich had been saving his money for a long time. What was important in their married life was their mutual understanding. Vera Elevfirievna — the artist’s wife, considering the everyday work of the artist as extremely important, apart from cleaning of their apartment (the couple had never hired servants), wiped the dust from every tube of husband’s oil- paints. The paintings of Arkhip Kuindzhi went for a very high price: customers paid for them much more than for the portraits of I.N. Kramskoy or the landscapes of I.I.Shishkin. Both artists, Kramskoy and Kuindzhi, were very successful at that time. 

      The highest level of the creative potential and practicality were essential personality traits of Kuindzhi. Arkhip Ivanovich had always wanted to have his studio on the top floor with the access to the roof to feed the birds to whom he was fond, almost paternally attached. Once he found out about the sale of the houses № 39, 41 and 43, which were located on the 10th line of Vasilievsky Island. In one of these houses, there was such an apartment with the access to the roof and full panoramic view, which Kuinndzhi had been looking for. The difficulty was that these three houses were put up for sale as a single and indivisible housing. And, naturally, the price was not small: three houses were being sold together, nevertheless. For the sake of having the suitable studio, A.I. Kuindzhi was ready to go to all lengths. He initially agreed to buy these three houses, then refused, and finally decided, having invested almost all his money.

       After buying these houses the artist had become a landlord. He lived in his dream studio, while the rest of his apartments were rented out. As the owner of the houses, he had to delve into the household, or as it is said now utility problems because he was primarily responsible for the living conditions of the residents of his houses. Being a very dedicated person, he even liked to solve the problems using his intellect. He was interested in everything:  joinery, carpentry, solving the school tasks on algebra and many other things he had never studied.He had never studied this subject because never attended school lessons. In addition to this, he learned to play the violin without a teacher. And finally, he searched for the new artistic means of expression in his canvases.

      Later on, Kuindzhi acknowledged that as it had turned out, he was an unfortunate householder. It happened not because he neglected his householding duties: the reason why he didn’t dare to claim the money from the debtors, was that there were quite a few artists among the tenants of his houses. What’s more, he had always sympathized with people who were in trouble and tried to help them. Very often, he passed the money, not by himself but asked somebody to avoid the embarrassment of the person he wanted to help in front of their benefactor. As for himself, he always considered helping other people as a norm. Many people would come to his funerals — from the Grand Duchess to street beggars, who would remember Arkhip Ivanovich as a person who was near and dear to them.

     As the time passed, he had to sell these houses, nevertheless. The houses were sold at the high profit for Kuindzhi because in the late 1890s real estate prices had increased significantly. However, in connection with the sale of his houses, he had to leave his studio.

In the year of 1898 A.I and V.E. Kuindzhi had changed their address, settling in a house in the Birzhevoi Lane (the current address — Birzhevoi Lane, 1/10, at the Birzhevoi Lane and Makarov Embankment). This house is unique for its appearance and history. It is huge; its facades overlook the embankment and Birzhevaya Line as well as Birzhevoi and Volkhovsky lanes. Many windows have a view of a huge courtyard.As an architectural phenomenon,  this house is a fascinating example of the architecture of this period: its windows, entrance halls as well as complicated layout are considered as the elements of keen interest for the historians of the Russian architecture.

     The history of the building of the house in the Birzhevoi lane begins from the year of 1842. The first version of this house was built by the architect A.H.Pehl. That time this house belonged to the merchant P.Meniaev.  In 1879, it was passed to the Eliseevs merchants, the owners of the famous food store on Nevsky Prospekt. 30 years since the beginning of the initial construction of this building had passed. It goes without saying, the new times gave a raise to the new needs of the residents and owners, and consequently, the house is being renovated by the architect L.F.Shperer who added the additional fourth floor.  The superstructure above the fourth floor was well visible from the embankment and the Birzhevaja Line. The architect A.F.Baranovsky designed it in 1887. The studio of A.I.Kuindzhi was  Inside of this superstructure. This studio met the new requirements; it met the artist’s demands for the best working conditions. The studio was very spacious. A huge, about 150 square meters room, whose height was approximately 6 meters, overhead light — all this created the perfect working environment. The whole height windows overlooked a splendid panorama of the Neva River, St.Peter, and Paul fortress and the Birzhevoi Bridge.

        This house is connected not only with the life of Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi. Many famous people lived there in the different times.  The parents of P.I.Tchaikovsky had stayed here for some time after their arrival from Votkinsk in the 1840s.  Many artists lived in this house, so it could be called the Artists’ House by right.  The historians of St.Petersburg, having carried out their research, even found out the tenants of these apartments.

   A.K.Beggrov rented the apartment №27  in 1886-1892, E.E.Volkov (1885-1904)  rented the apartment №26, M. P. Klodt lived in the flat №9, G.G.Miasoedov rented the apartment № 39, and during the last years of his life, I.N.Kramskoy occupied the rooms №5 and 8. Here, since 1897 to 1910 lived A.I.Kuindzhi. The entrance to his studio was made from his apartment, which was located on the fourth floor. The artist had access from his studio to the roof where he fed and healed the birds that lived nearby.

They were waiting for the moment when Arkhip Ivanovich was supposed to feed and «communicate» with them,

     This house could be characterized as the home where people lived in plenty. it was not only because its owner possessed great material wealth, the atmosphere of this house attracted many people. A.I.Kuindzhi followed a very modest, almost ascetic way of life. Arkhip Ivanovich and Vera Elevfirievna purchased their belongings on occasion, by their necessities. The only luxury was a grand piano which belonged to Vera Elevfirievna. It was the wedding gift of Arkhip Ivanovich. The musical parties were often held in the apartment. Many friends of the family came to the Kuindzhis to listen to music, and Arkhip Ivanovich had learned by himself playing the violin. However, he performed in a very narrow circle of the closest friends, and by the many demands only.

       Now, in the living room, we can see the photos which were taken from Kuindzhi in the different years and the photos of the drawings of I.E.Repin and V.M.Vasnetsov. The only oil-painted portrait in the museum is the portrait of Kuindzhi painted by I.N.Kramskoy at the end of the 1870s. On the wall of the next room, there is the drawing of I.E.Repin, depicting A.I.Kuindzhi was playing chess. The artist loved spending time playing chess parties, and his favorite partner on the game was D.I. Mendeleev, who also loved having a conversation with the artist. He used to come here because his University apartment was very close to Kuindzhi’s apartment. There also were common shared interests which tied the prominent scientist and the distinguished artist. Together they experimented over the chemical structure of oil-paints. What’s more, Dmitry Ivanovich had a genuine interest in Kuindzhi’s artistic talent and his intuition for colors. He even investigated with his particular device the vision of several artists, including Kuindzhi and came to the conclusion that the eye of Arkhip Ivanovich had the exceptional feeling for color.

     A few photos depict the «academical» period of the artist’s activity, i.e. the time when he led the landscape studio.  From 1893 onwards, A.I Kuindzhi is the full member of the Academy of Arts, and in 1894-1897 he became the head of the landscape studio. Only three years Kuindzhi had taught the students, but this period was a time of revolutionary changes and innovations. I.E.Repin, A.I. Kuindzhi and I.I.Shishkin were invited as the professors. In comparison to the previous periods, in this period of time, the goals and objectives of training qualified specialists for art schools and gymnasiums in Russia had changed. One of the primary goals was the preparation of qualified teachers for schools and gymnasiums of Russia. On the one hand, there was a constant need in experienced middle-level specialists, such as draughtsmen, designers, experienced drawing teachers capable of teaching their students to draw the object accurately, on the other hand, drawing had gradually become more applied to practical requirements.

Despite the fact that A.I. Kuindzhi hadn’t worked for a long time at the Academy of Arts as a professor, many of his students remembered their classes with him for the rest of their lives. At first glance, his method of teaching was very simple, however, as a good mentor, he used his real-life experience in his way of education. A.I. Kuindzhi had never interfered in the works of his students from the beginning, giving them as much as possible the opportunity to express their ideas in their landscapes. And only when the student himself experienced difficulties, Arkhip Ivanovich showed him how to solve the problem, enhancing color and imagery, for example.

     He was loved and respected because he appreciated everyone who was under warship, bringing up his students to love their motherland and native environment. It was his fate that he hadn’t had children. Therefore, he treated his students as children, taking to his heart many of their problems. So, after his retirement from the Academy of Arts, he organized a trip to Europe for every student of his landscape studio who wanted to participate. They visited many world-famous European museums. He also brought his students to Crimea where he bought a plot of land. Kuindzhi organized open-air training sessions on painting for his students.

    In the year of 1908, the Society of his name was founded. Its authorized capital was 150 thousand roubles, including the Crimean land, which belonged to the artist. Such famous artists as V.E.Makovsky, N.K.Roerich, A.A.Rylov, N.I. Himon, V.A.Zarubin, A.A.Borisov, V.A.Beklemishev, A.V.Schusev, F.F.Bukhgolts, K.E.Kryzhytsky, belonged to this society. The aim of the organization was to support of young talented artists by giving them financial aid, organizing contests to identify talented works and award the artists who won. At the lifetime of Kuindzhi, there were 24 such monetary prizes. The most successful works were purchased by the society and passed on to provincial museums. A.I.Kuindzhi wanted to build the premises for exhibitions of different artistic societies, as well as the artists who followed the various trends in fine arts. These exhibitions would take place in the Malaya Morskaya Street, 17. Many celebrities were invited to perform at those art-vernissages. Here there were Konstantin Sobinov, Fedor Chaliapin Olga Preobrazhenskaya. In 1917, the Kuindzhi Society, which was founded for people’s education, lost their funds due to the nationalization of the Russian banks and all capitals in our country. However, the Society had existed for almost a decade and a half, till the year of 1931.

     A.I.Kuindzhi, giving way to other artists and sharing his secrets of mastery, was self-critical to himself. Since 1881, while he was on the top of his fame and popularity, he decided to stop exhibiting his artworks, assuming that he had already expressed his ideas he wanted to express. This news came as a surprise to many of his friends, the artists, as well as for his admirers. How is it possible to go into shadow?  Nevertheless, A.I.Kuindzhi, resigning from his exhibition activity, didn’t stop working as an artist, searching the new creative ways and methods of self-improvement. Only 20 years later, in 1901, he encouraged to show his artworks to his fellows.The artworks, which were created within this period were shown with the awe and humility.Kuindzhi contacted and asked for advice of everyone, regardless of their age and social status.

      A.I.Kuindzhi possessed such rare and unique qualities, which nowadays might be lost, as the ability to teach, learn, not to hold grudge, be independent and fair in his judgements, never humiliate other people and not to do anything to them in retaliation for something. The artist kept his principles despite the fact that these principles could bring him a lot of trouble. He had to do so when he had to resign from the Association of the Temporary Art Exhibitions(Peredvizhniki). The reason for his resignation was the article of M.P.Klodt, in which Kuindzhi was unfairly treated by the author. He quitted the Society, however, with most artists he continued to maintain friendly relationships, for example, with I.E.Repin, I.I.Shishkin, I.N.Kramskoy.

     To some degree, such behavior contributed to the financial independence of the artist.  In one of the Museum’s rooms, on the wall, we can see, the text of his Testament. The wisdom and thoughtfulness of this document are strikingly impressive. The total capital, which A.I.Kuindzhi possessed compound 453 thousand roubles. 10 thousand roubles the artist passed to the St.Virgin Church in Mariupol for the school of his name, 5 thousand roubles went to his nephew, 4 thousand went to his niece, 1 thousand the children of his nephew were to receive. 423 thousand roubles which made up an untouched fund; 150 thousand roubles from this capital was in the fund of the Imperial Court. The Kuindzhi Society was maintained on the interest rates of this capital, namely 24444 roubles, the part of this amount (2500 roubles) was a yearly payment to V.E.Kuindzhi, the artist’s widow. Due to the artist’s testament, his paintings were to belong to the Kuindzhi Society. In the case of the closure of the Society, all its capitals and revenue were to be transferred to the fund of the Imperial Academy of Arts. The personal artist’s property was bequeathed to Vera Elevfirievna, the artist’s wife.

     As it has already been said, nothing of the original things from Kuindzhi’s apartment and the studio has survived to our days. After her husband’s death, Vera Elevfirievna, moved from the apartment, changing the place of her residence on more modest rooms. The furniture was bought for the occasion. It belonged not to one owner and was of no value at that time. The well-known big piano, without which any musical party held in the house couldn’t be possible, hasn’t survived to our days as well. Only one couch which is very similar to those we can see in the photo on the wall has survived to our days. Maybe, it was the part of the original furniture.

     The permanent exhibition of the gifts given to the museum has opened in? one of the museum’s rooms. Here, there is the list of list of donators and items that were donated. The leading position in this list takes Professor V.F.Zagonek, who gave out to the museum 61 item, comprising the collection of artifacts related to the activity of A.I.Kuindzhi Society: there are society’s regulations, reports and the drawings of A.R.Eberling. S.N.Griva and T.I.Rybakova, the restorers of the Scientific Research Museum of the Academy of Arts, passed the picture of G.G.Miasoedov «The Escape of Grigory Otrepiev from the tavern on the Lithuanian border».

     his apartment has witnessed many owners after the death of A.I.Kuindzhi.From 1911 to 1921 there was the V.I.Vernadsky Radiological Laboratory. Then, like many pre-revolutionary apartments, it went through the period of crowding more people into a limited space. Every room of the artist’s apartment was tenanted by a family. The artist’s studio, which is of nearly 150 square. meters was divided between two or three artists at that time. At different times such artists as T.Bogatyriov, N.Riabinin, V.Proshkin, R.Vovkushevskii worked there. An interesting story was told me by one of the museum’s employees. This story, in turn, was told by the daughter of one of the artists who worked in this studio. Now she is living in the US. She recalled her parent’s story who told her how she was brought in this studio just from the maternity hospital.

The Museum-Apartment of A.I.Kuindzhi was opened here in 1994.  It was a very challenging time for our country as a whole and St.Petersburg in particular. From the opinion of the man in the street, there could be many pros and cons in connection with this event.On the one hand, it would be better to restore and sell this apartment as luxury housing or give it to someone as an award for their excellent services. This apartment could also serve its purpose as a residential apartment for one simple reason: St.Petersburg is tightly packed with museums. On the other hand, the continually existing axiom that the man doesn’t live by bread alone confirms another opinion of this issue. Thanks to those people who created this museum and this exposition we have the opportunity to know more about this outstanding artist. Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi followed the principle: if you give something out, the God will pay you off for your golden deeds. The tribute we pay to the Artist is the way of expression of our memory of him.

     This year it is one hundred years since the day of the artist’s death. The value of his work for the history of Russian painting was clearly defined by A.N.Benois in his article: «For the Russian painting, the emergence of the Russian Monet was necessary. Kuindzhi was the artist who realized the interaction of colors very clearly. So passionate was Kuindzhi in his desire to express this interaction that the other Russian artists may believe him and stop treating the palette as an additional tool. Since the lifetime of Kiprensky and Venetsianov, colors have stopped playing their independent and significant role. There were treated with the significant degree of prejudice, as a kind of a formal suit, without which would be improper to face the public. All the academic and the Itinerants’ paintings until the 1880s, with rare exceptions, were in essence,  pretentious and tasteless products I.Sokolov, Mestcherskii, K. Zichi) or faintly painted dull pictures. «The Last Supper» by Nikolai Gay, was the painting which can be considered as an exception. The paintings of Repin and Semiradsky can also be considered as very representative examples of paintings of this historical period. In this case, Arkhip Kuindzhi perfectly played the role of Russian Claude Monet, showing the beauty of the colors, discovering the laws of their sounding and vibration. His showy, bright and lucid pictures stunned the general public which was bored to death. These pictures like the pictures of Vassily Vereschagin  made public argue the toss, raising elation as well as indignation.

     The light and clarity of his paintings will never become darker when the time will pass because they reflect the soul of their creator, who left the treasures of his art to all people.


Репин И.Е. Далекое близкое. Л., Художник РСФСР, 1986. – 488 с.

Материалы сайта:

       http://kuinje.ru/kuinji_articles.php. Последний вход — 12.07.2010-07-09

      This site was recommended for viewing by and studying by the researchers  of the      

      A.I.Kuindzhi Museum-apartment

The author would like to express his gratitude to the staff of the Russian Academy of Arts Research Museum and the researchers of the A.I. Kuindzhi Museum-Apartment for their help and consultations.

June 2010

Pen-and-ink drawing

Е.В.Малых. Обнаженная фигура. Факультет живописи. V курс. Бумага, перо, тушь. 38х45 см. Руководитель А.Л.Королев. 1986

Evgeny Malykh. The sketch of the nude male model. Pen-and-ink drawing. 38×45 cm. The Fifth Year of study.This work was created under the guidance of Professor A.L. Korolev. St.Petersburg, 1986

The first time I knew about pen-and-ink drawing was the period of my studies at the Art College in Ekaterinburg. Listening to the lectures on the History of Art and looking at the photos from the artworks of the nationally recognized and world famous artists and turning the glossy pages of art albums, I admired of these masterpieces They gave me the incentive to try this technique myself. Apparently, it is very easy to find the tools for this activity: a sheet of paper and pen with ink, have always been at hand. However, passing from words to deeds wasn’t as easy as it might look. Drawing with pen and ink requires from the artist to be very focused on their task. Nevertheless, your drawing should look like the artistic improvisation. Eventually, some of my attempts had proved to be successful, and this small achievement inspired me.

At that time I knew that not only steel pens were used in drawings: pen and ink drawing has a very interesting history. As far back as in the Ancient Egypt people worked with pens and brushes when drawing on the papyrus rolls. A copper pen dated back to 79 A.D. was found during the archaeological excavations in Pompeii.

My next experience in the pen-and-ink drawing I gained when I studied at the St. Petersburg Art Academy in the studio of People’s Artists of the USSR Andrei Mylnikov. Then, we, as the four-year students of the Academy of Arts worked on the drawings of the nude male models under the guidance of Professor Alexander Korolev. That task was a part of our curriculum. I must say that we had visited the Academic Library with the purpose of studying the best drawings of the classical artists before we started doing this task. Our library has a great collection of the facsimile reproductions of the ancient drawings. Alexander Leonidovich Korolev himself was a great admirer of the Renaissance artists, who worked in this genre, especially Michelangelo. He had always tried to pass on this the highest culture of drawing to his students. He also was of the opinion that pen as a tool plays an important part in eye training. As he said, this technique disciplines the eyesight. The line should be very precise because it is impossible to erase it afterward.

At the same time, another method of teaching this technique is often done. Those students whose hands are not trained enough are supposed to use a preliminary pencil drawing. Then, these lines should be outlined in ink. In the modern pen-and-ink drawings, a wide variety of pens are used: from the traditional pens, which are inserted into a handle to the more updated pens with the filling system, felt markers, ball pens, and roller ball pens. However, I have to say that when we use these facilities, we lose the sense of improvisation and the creative attitude to such artworks. Admittedly, many artists while drawing with pen and ink, searched for the right proportions of the objects depicted. We often can see auxiliary lines in their drawings. Those thin lines, which are drawn very close to the contours of the objects, illustrate the search of right proportions made by artists. We can see those so called misses in many designs of Michelangelo, which, so naturally form the entire ornament of the whole work. It’s known that Michelangelo often used the pen when he drew the Ancient Greek or Roman sculptures. Looking at these masterpieces, we consider these strokes not only as the part of the drawings, but like the attempts of a sculptor, who uses the pen like his chisel to cut out the shapes in the surrounding space.

The curriculum of the Faculty of Architecture includes the task on pen-and-ink human figure drawing. It is held for the four-year students every second semester. Most students are eager to do this task, which is for them the work on attention and concentration. For more successful students, teachers give advice not to make a preliminary drawing, but go ahead, beginning and ending this task with the pen only. Apart from the vast knowledge in construction and architectural design, a future architect needs artistic skills to add aesthetic features to their architectural sketches and designs. Undoubtedly, the handling of pen-and-ink drawing helps the artists to elaborate the precise and exquisite line, which enriches their architectural designs. During their studies, the students do different tasks, learning how to use different techniques and art materials.

It goes without saying, every objective requires its methods of expression. The summer practical training sessions give the students of the future architects an excellent opportunity to polish their skills after the third year of studying. Our mentors help students to choose the right materials according to the task objectives. For example, pen-and-ink drawing is better for the depicting the texture of a tree trunk, ornaments of cast-iron grills, and cracks in stone masonry. The combination of different materials in the graphic art gives the new opportunities for implementation of new ideas. For instance, brush, China ink, sepia, and watercolour are widely used when depicting dark places. In this case, the shadows become more intense. On the contrary, when shadows are hatched without the underlying tone, they look lighter and more transparent.

I have always admired the Renaissance architectural designs. Being made by using various techniques, they draw viewers’ attention neither their sizes nor the vast scale of their ideas, but liveliness, vibrant tones, and elegance. All these features require great mastery; thanks to that the seemingly ordinary architectural sketch turns into a great work of art.

Nowadays, we are hesitant over choice, being able to purchase any art materials; rarely artists use such an outdated tool as a goose quill. To some degree, a steel-pen is also considered as the thing of the past. Admittedly, these instruments almost replaced by more up-to-date tools, such as a fountain pen, ball pen, ball pen and felt-tip pen. Needless to say, despite its disadvantages, the traditional pen, not convenient, though, is very suitable for drawing by making thick and thin lines. Contrary to the drawings made with a ball or roller pen, which look like the well-done exercises, these pieces of art are fascinating and full of life.

More and more skilful pen-and-ink drawings can be spotted year at the midterm and final exhibitions of the students’ artworks. In the opinion of many students who do the outdoor and indoor tasks, there are many places and moments, where such or such a technique of pen-and-ink drawing is suitable for each work. In the end, I would like our students to be enthusiastic about their work and studying at the Institute, and wish them more discoveries and more compelling creative artworks.


Juho Rissanen and the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts

To the question of the Russian-Finnish relationships
in the second part of the 19th century
Among Finnish artists, whose education in a certain degree was firmly related to the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts, Juho Rissanen occupies a special place. Although he studied only for a short period at the studio of Ilya Repin (December 1897 — May 1898), his studying at the Academy became an essential stage in his formation and development as a master, and at the same time became one of the most exciting phenomena in the history of Russian-Finnish cultural relations.
As an artist and person, Juho Rissanen is of great interest for us. His life was inspiring and eventful, and the story about it could be an excellent basis for a screenplay of a film about a remarkable person possessed with a great creative idea, independent and following their way. Being recognised by art critics and art lovers, his paintings also tell us about his life.
So, it might be unfair to find out in the research works of our art-critics, devoted to the Golden Age of the Finnish Art that among the other names of the Finnish artists the name of Juho Rissanen is mentioned like the name of an ordinary artist, separated from others by commas. Unfortunately, the creative works of Juho Rissanen didn’t attract the attention of the art experts in our country. The only distinguishing feature in his works, identified by everybody, is ordinary people that he depicted in his paintings. But not only Rissanen portrayed the life around him. Finnish peasants and workers became the heroes of the pictures of Albert Edelfelt, Eero Jarnefelt and even Hugo Simberg, whose children carrying an angel in his eponymous painting, are the children of the ordinary workers. Appeal to people and its epic and the history of the homeland is one of the most distinctive features of the art of the II half of the XIX century — the period of growth of national awareness and the flourishing of the culture and the art of Finland. The folk theme that passes through all the creative works of Juho Rissanen, undergoing its evolution. Throughout his creative life, the artist searched the best and the brightest means to express his ideas. Finnish people are considered as an integral part of his personality because Rissanen came from the grassroots, precisely from the poorest social groups. His biography had a high impact on his creativity. In the interpretation of the images of the ordinary people, Rissanen was far from the prettiness and idealism of the artists working in line with the ideas of national-romanticism. When depicting people’s characters, he was more impartial than other Finnish artists.
Juho Rissanen was born in 1873 in Kuopio, in a family of a worker and maid. He lost his father, whose main vice was drinking, very early. When Juho’s father was returning home after one more feast, he’d frozen up and died. Rissanen’s triptych «Memories of childhood» (Art Museum, Budapest), seems to revive the shocking details of this moment of his life.
After having lost his father, he got to know very early with poverty and had to earn a living when he was very young. His first steps in his artistic education associated with the painting studio of the artist Victor Berg, where Rissanen not only studied but lived to be an apprentice of his teacher. At the same time, young Rissanen learned and finished the Sunday Artisan School in Kuopio (1888-1890) and the Elementary School of Crafts (1890 — 1892). In 1892-1893 he went on a trip to the Central and South Western Finland in search of work he received in Tampere in the studio of R.Ekberg. In 1894, he won the qualification of a professional home painter. In 1895 he arrived in Helsinki where he worked at the Hasselgren and Loof’s Studio and entered the Central School of Applied Arts (High School of Handicrafts) which allowed him to specialise as a decorator. In 1896, Rissanen decided to begin studying art on a regular basis. He entered the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society where he learned art from the famous artist Helen Schierfbeck. Here he got to know the creative works of the famous old masters. The paintings of Hans Holbein that also had a considerable impact on Helen Schierfbeck have a particular influence on Juho Rissanen.
But Rissanen was not destined to study at the Art School in Helsinki. After a few months, he had been expelled from the school because » he wasn’t able to comply with the normal order and the traditions of the school.»
The artist had to think about the way he had to do for a living, where he could get the means for his following studying and whom he could ask for his financial backup. He found a job; he also got somebody who funded his education. As an illustrator, Rissanen worked for some periodicals such as a comic magazine and a Christian Yearbook for Children. This financial support he gained in Helsinki, from the industrialist Antti Poihoonen. Arranging thus, his business, Rissanen continued studies at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society, but in Turku. He began his studies at the studio of the nationally known artist Victor Westerholm.
However, that was not enough for an ambitious young man. He realised that his creative potential needed a way out that’s why he went to St.Petersburg, the capital of the vast Russian Empire. Back then, paradoxically as it may sound now, for many Finns, St.Petersburg was a kind of a window to Europe. At that time, about 24000 of the Finns lived in the Russian capital. People of different professions and social status, from stove makers to honoured maids of her Imperial Majesty, formed the Finnish community at that time.
Naturally enough, the question of finding the funds for education had become the question of primary importance for Rissanen. In October-November Rissanen was coming to St.Petersburg to know about the conditions of admissions to the Academy of Arts. He took a bank loan. One of his warrantors became J.F.G. Aminoff, the governor of the province of Kuopio. The other his sponsors were Ferdinand von Wright, the famous artist and consul Birger Hallman.
As it has been mentioned, the stay in St.Petersburg and the studying at the Academy of Arts, was for Rissanen an essential stage of his creative development. Generally speaking, he didn’t have a regular art education, taking courses at different educational institutions and from various artists from time to time. Those Finnish artists who taught him (Helen Schierfbeck, Victor Westerholm and Albert Gebhardt) or whose creative works had an impact on him (Albert Edelfelt) studied in Paris and Dusseldorf. Even though the curriculum of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts undergone some changes and the atmosphere of the Academy had become more democratic, this educational institution remained conservative. The Academy was considered as a stronghold of the state police in culture and art education. Developing the subjects of the current educational tasks or diploma works, the artists paid the greater attention to contemporary life. They also changed their attitude in the interpretation of historical subjects, preferring the themes from modern life to those from ancient history or mythology. However, the general position of the Academy’s administration to the issues of the art remained the same, and the Academy was an institution with the strict order end elaborate rules and regulations. The students were given serious vocational training, and for the sake of the stringent requirements, the students had to suppress their individuality.
Taking the advice about his further studying from Albert Edelfelt, Rissanen headed to St.Petersburg. He had no definite idea of where to go. Besides St. Petersburg, Rissanen had the idea to go to Stockholm. Nevertheless, Eledfelt, a true patriot of Finland didn’t advise him to go anywhere because, in his opinion, Finland has its art school. He expressed the idea that it might be better for Rissanen to continue his education at the School of the Finnish Art Society. However, Rissanen felt not comfortable to go back there as it had already been expelled from there. The reason for his exclusion seemed to Edelfelt insignificant: Rissanen fell asleep at the class of Helen Schierfbeck. He promised to write to Victor Westerholm, who lived in Turku at the time and ask him to take Rissanen to the local art school. He gladly spent a short time of his studies, but still, he was remembering Helen Schjerfbeck and wanted to return to her studio. Besides that, the friends of Rissanen convinced him that yet, he needs to study abroad. He was provided with necessary funds.
Before his trip to St. Petersburg Rissanen visited Albert Edelfelt and told him that hi did decide to go to Russia to study from Ilya Repin. Mildly rebuking the young artist, maestro said to him that he is as stubborn as all the residents of the province of Savo. Nevertheless, he wrote a letter of recommendation to Repin.
Despite having the lack of arts education, Rissanen came to the Academy as a person with developed views on life and opinions on aesthetic. The two letters of Juho Rissanen to Ferdinand von Wright have come to our days. One of them is dated November 1897. In this letter, the artist describes his impressions from his arrival to St.Petersburg, from St.Petersburg itself, and from the settling in the new place and dealing with his household problems. Arriving by train to the Finland Station, the future student of the Academy of Arts went to look for housing. He rented a room in the apartment near the Academy of Arts where lived a Polish family. It was located at the 14th line, house 57, apartment 3. Generally, he liked his housing, although the room was quite cold. After he had arranged his business with his accommodation, he went to see the city. Nevsky Prospect made a great impression on him: the artist was taken by its fantastic architecture and amazing public strolling through the street. The young ladies neatly and richly dressed drew the attention of the young traveller. After the domestic problems have been solved, the other issues were needed to be tackled. The first one was the organisation of his studying at the Academy of Art. Rissanen had a letter of recommendation from the Finnish Art Society, which he was going to show Repin himself. In this case, Albert Edelfelt had played the vital role.
By that time, this brilliant Finnish painter, who was like a role model for his compatriots, had managed to establish himself in St.Petersburg and to make good connections in the business and art worlds. The young talented artist was introduced to Sergey Diaghilev who showed great interest in Scandinavian art. Later on, a few exhibitions of the Finnish and Russian artists were organised with his assistance. Diaghilev liked the works of the young artist. The next goal that Rissanen was going to achieve was the acquaintance with Ilya Repin. The master praised the originality of the paintings of Rissanen, his shining talent and agreed to take Rissanen to his studio as a senior student. However, Repin insisted on doing the assignments that did all the students. It was anatomical drawings as well as drawing and painting from a live model. One more formality Juho Rissanen needed to do: to obtain the permission for his education from the vice-president of the Academy of Arts, count I.I. Tolstoy. There were no particular problems with this. Tolstoy was favourable to the young Finn, completely trusting the opinion of I.E.Repin.
The second letter of Rissanen to Ferdinand von Wright was written in December 1897. In this letter, he describes the beginning of his education at Repin’s studio. As it’s clear from the general tone of the message the young artist was excited about all the new things that he had got to know at the Academy. The Academy’s curriculum was traditional.
Students had to pay their attention to the painting of nude and dressed models. That day Ilya Repin was supervising his students and giving them advice while they were working. The master liked the work of Rissanen. After the painting of this work, the students began to paint a dressed model. It was a female model in a beautiful blue dress. In the opinion of Rissanen, Repin was a very cheerful and friendly person, and what was the most appealing to the young Finnish artist, was that Repin spoke Finnish a little. It was significant for the young Finn because he didn’t know the Russian language. Repin advised him to contact Anna Lipponen, the Finnish student who studied at the freshman classes of the Academy and who spoke Russian. Repin liked how Rissanen worked. For Rissanen, this fact was crucial because of the appraisal of such a great master as Repin was motivated him to be a more hardworking person.
While living in St.Petersburg, Rissanen perfected his skills not only in the Academy of Arts. He often visited the Hermitage Museum where he studied the creative works of the old masters and, most importantly, he bought the reproductions from the pictures created by classics. This collection of copies, which was initiated in the Northern capital, then grew up to very very large size and the number of postcards and photos had reached several thousand. Here, in our city, at the Academy of Arts and the Hermitage Museum, the ticket to a long creative life was given to Rissanen, and from here, having acquired the knowledge in the art, he came back to Finland and then went to Europe and America.
Rissanen studied diligently, and soon he was awarded the monthly prize of 25 rubles from the Imperial Mutual Aid Fund for the Finnish students. Little by little, he started studying the Russian language with the help of Marti Berg, who worked at the State Secretariat of the Finnish Ministry, and Lady Ursin. Later on, he changed his apartment, moving from the 14th line to Italianskaya street, wherein the house №15 he rented the apartment № three together with a Finnish law student.
In St.Petersburg, Rissanen saw a lot of new things. His life was vibrant and exciting. He tried to know as much as possible. The Academy students had special cards, which gave them free access to museums and theatres. Those cards looked like the student cards that are used by students nowadays. There was a curious incident which had happened to the young artist. Walking along the Nevsky Prospekt and approaching Catherine’s Garden, Rissanen had seen an Orthodox priest. He was captivated by the unusual appearance of the father and followed him for a long time. The priest drew his attention to Rissanen and then after some time turned to the nearest policeman. The policeman asked the surprised Finn to show his documents. After examination of his student card signed by the Grande Prince and, I.E. Repin, and also learned what the matter was, he took off his cap and bowed to Rissanen.
There was another case. Seeing the City Duma Tower on Nevsky Prospect, Rissanen decided to climb on it at all costs to overlook the view of the city. He was immediately brought in to the police station. With great difficulty, Rissanen explained that he wanted to see how large St.Petersburg was. The sincere and honest look of the young Finn took the policemen by surprise. Then they accompanied him when he was heading to the Duma Tower. Not wasting a single minute, Rissanen made many sketches of Neva banks. Many of his drawings were used for painting the finished artworks.
Even though Rissanen liked studying at the Academy, he didn’t remain in St.Petersburg to complete his academic course. During the autumn and winter of 1897-1898, he was sick a lot. Although outwardly he looked healthy physically, the difficult period of his childhood when he was starving and working a lot, affected him. Doctors advised him to go home to Finland because there is a healthier climate. Repin regretted Rissanen’s departure because he wished to have more such talented and diligent students like this young Finn.
Most importantly, what Rissanen learned from his stay in Russia were progressive democratic ideas, in particular, the concepts of Leo Tolstoy about people’s education. In addition to this, the personal contact with people who gave him a creative charge played an essential part in his life. The life in Russia inspired Rissanen to go further and to raise his art to a global level. To have his creative art reached the world level, Rissanen thought that only the development of his career as a career of a Finnish artist would lead him to the top level of the world art. In his opinion, he needed to be focused on the Finnish national traditions in his art.
In his future life, Rissanen had to travel a lot moving from place to place. During these travels, he always tried to learn, absorb something new and look for the only right form for the expression of his ideas.
Using the examples of Renaissance masters, he studied the technique of fresco painting In Italy. He admired the measure of generalisation, the sublime imagery, precision of lines and clarity and completeness of characters, in other words, those features which were characteristic for the classic of Renaissance art.
In France, where he lived in the second half of the 1920s — first half of 1930s, he made good connections with Maurice Denis and the artists of his circle. He paid a great deal of attention to the symbolism of Deni’s paintings and liked his broad brushstrokes. At the same time, he was far from avant-garde movements which were characteristic of fine art in the first half of the 20th century (cubism, expressionism and other modernist movements).
The central theme of his art — is the life of an ordinary person. As a descendant of the family of commons, he loved ordinary people. In his pictures, he tried to show the diversity of their lives, depicting particular episodes of their everyday life focusing on the life of specific characters. At the same time, his art is far from being straightforward and educational. The artist didn’t tend to point at somebody who, in his opinion was responsible for the current social problems. There are quite a few lyrical pictures that he created in the different periods of his life, such as «A Girl», «An Old Woman», «A Girl Sitting by the Sea», «A Man warming his foot on the hearth», «Watch Trade». «A Fortune Teller», «A Folk Healer». At the same time, the artist could create the artworks with the epic atmosphere: » A woman sifting the seeds», «A woman weaving a ribbon», the frescos «Blacksmiths», «Builders». The path to people’s the future well-being, Rissanen saw in the developing of their national culture. The foundation of any national culture is the language of its people. In those days, the vast majority of intellectuals who lived in Finland spoke and wrote mostly in Swedish. Most of them were people of high society. Rissanen never wanted to study this language. In particular, letters to Albert Edelfelt, Rissanen wrote only in Finnish, and Edelfelt had to answer him also in Finnish, though he spoke fluently in Swedish and his family had Swedish aristocratic roots.

Although the artist was close to ordinary people, whose problems everyday life he took to his heart, his ideas about the improvement of people’s wealth weren’t destructive. The fate of his nation, its culture and prospects were the things the artist was thinking throughout his life. Nevertheless, he didn’t consider a revolution as the only option for changing the situation for the better in his country. What’s more, a kind of status quo or equilibrium in society were the factors which, in his opinion, could be a better choice for people. That’s why he couldn’t understand why, in 1918, when Finland gained its independence, the civil war started. Indeed, the strength and power of the Finnish people, as he believed, in its unity, solid cultural basis and the harmony of all classes of society.
When travelling around the world, the artist never forgot about his homeland. He lived a long and very fascinating life. Finnish people are grateful to him. After his death in 1950, his ashes were transported from Miami. It was the place remote from Finland. Then his remains were reburied in Kuopio.
For us, his creative experience is exciting and valuable in many ways. On the one hand, his original approach in depicting the life of ordinary people attracted the attention of public and art critics. On the other hand, the artist created an epic image of an average man, and, in this case, the democratic ideas of Russian intellectuals and especially Lev Tolstoy were influential for him. Importantly, Russian and Finnish people are neighbours, we have a lot in common in our history. Nevertheless, whatever these moments are, good or bad, we should always aim for mutual understanding and cooperation.
1. Безрукова М., «Искусство Финляндии. Основные этапы становления национальной художественной школы», М., Изобразительное искусство, 1986.
2 Безрукова М., «Скандинавская и финская живопись из музеев СССР», в журнале «Юный художник», 1990, № 10.
3. Безрукова-Долматовская М., «С.П.Дягилев и Финляндия. К 100-летию выставки русских и финляндских художников». В сборнике «Проблемы развития зарубежного искусства». Материалы XI научной конференции в память профессора М.В.Доброклонского СПб, 1998.
4. Лисовский В.Г. «Академия художеств», Санкт-Петербург, 1997
5. «Мир искусства. К столетию выставки русских и финляндских художников 1898 года».” Palace editions”, 1898.
6. Суворова Л. «Финские академисты». В сборнике «Петербургские чтения 1998-1999», с. 472-475. СПб, 1999.
7. Stocker Clara “Paitaseta – Juho Rissanen elama”
8. Valkonen, Markku.Kultakausi, Porvoo, 1995
9. Vanderdoe, Kirk. “Northern Light. Nordic art at the turn of the century”. Yale University Press, New Haven, London.
8. Juho Rissanen ja suomalainen kansa. Juho Rissanen and the Finnish people.
Kuopion taidesmuseo 10.12.1997 – 8.3.1998
Atheneum 2.10 – 27-12.1998

Eero Jarnefelt and the Imperial Academy of Arts in St.Petersburg.


Eero Jarnefelt and the Imperial Academy of Arts in St.Petersburg.

To the question of the Russian-Finnish artistic relationship during the second half of the 19th century

Russian-Finnish cultural and artistic relations have a long and fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. The Finns still lived on the banks of Neva before the founding of our city. Since 1809, the time of the joining Russia to Finland, the closer and more purposeful contacts began to occur. For many Finns, St. Petersburg became the second homeland. In the 1880s, more than 24000 Finns lived in St.Petersburg that was the second city after Helsinki by the number of Finns residing there. The Finns presented nearly in all the social groups of St.Petersburg’s residents: from the factory workers and servants of aristocratic families to the ministers and Maids of Honour of the Empress. In his Sound of the Time, Osip Mandelshtam wrote: «I’ve always vaguely felt the special importance of Finland for a resident of St. Petersburg. A lot of people have always come to Finland to think over something because it was impossible to do that when staying in St.Petersburg.» He believed in the importance of Finland for St.Petersburg.
The Imperial Academy of Arts didn’t also keep apart from the Finnish-Russian cultural relations that became an objective reality in the second half of the 19th century.  The Finns have always preserved cultural traditions in their country. Since 1708, painting and drawing were included in the curriculum of the University of Helsingfors (Helsinki). Many arts educational institutions emerged at the time when Finland was a part of Russia. Later on, these institutions played an active role in the culture of Finland at that time. Apart from being an irreplaceable component of the program of the Helsingfors University, painting and drawing were also studied at the Finnish Art society (since 1848), where was founded an art school which started working in Helsingfors (Helsinki) and later in Abo (Turku). The vast majority of talented artists, whose creative works made a significant impact on the Finnish art at that time, had become the graduates of these schools. However, The Finnish Society of Artists didn’t have enough funds to organise the teaching at the highest level, that’s why many Finnish artists polished their artistic skills studying abroad.
For many artists who were improving their artistic skills, St. Petersburg Academy of Arts wasn’t the only educational institution where they could achieve their goals. Artists from Finland could also gain professional experience in Germany and France as well. Nevertheless, many distinguished Finnish painters, sculptors and architects chose St. Petersburg and the Academy of arts for the development of their skills. They stayed for a different time at the Academy, but the relations between St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts and Finnish artists was not limited to the education of students only. In addition to this, the Finnish students participated in many exhibitions, which were organised at the Academy. Many Finnish artists received the honorary titles of the academicians and the medals for their progress in art.
In August 1826, A.Olenin, the President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, received a circular from the Department of Education on the occasion of the Senat’s Decree «On the order of relations with Finland», according to which «The commission for Finnish affairs» was abolished and the State Secretariat had been introduced. In other words, the cultural development of Finland was becoming the business of the Finns themselves solely.
A. Armfelt who was a member of the Finnish Arts Society, organised in 1846, had become the State Secretary of St. Petersburg’ branch. On his proposal, the one-year-old son of Alexander II, Alexander Alexandrovich was assigned as its high patron. The avant-guard of the Russian political and social elites (Count Rumyantsev and Prince A.Gorchakov, in particular) contributed to the cultural autonomy of Finland.
Officially the Imperial Academy of Arts didn’t control the artistic life of Finland. What’s more, for Finnish artists, «its aesthetic principles and the spirits of the imperial court were extrinsic to the views modest lifestyle of Finnish artists»1. At that time, contemporary western art gave them a better motivation to draw their attention to the real life. The relations between the Academy and Finnish artists developed to provide the orders for portraits and landscapes, organise exhibitions and sales of painting and continue their education abroad. Academy made the significant contribution in celebration of the anniversary of the Finnish Art Society.
Not all Finnish artists completed the full course on arts at the Academy and received the diplomas; it depended on the goals that they set. And only Hugo Bakmanson (1860-1953) — the student of the Finnish Cadet Corps, and the officer of Life-Guards Izmailovsky Regiment, the student of P.Chistiakov and P.Kovalevsky, in November 1899 graduated the Academy with the painting called A Guide.
Among the Finnish artists who were awarded the title of academician, Albert Edelfelt whose work brought the fine arts of Finland to the international level occupies a leading position. He was a unique person for his creative energy. Edelfelt worked in different genres of painting: he painted the official formal portraits, created the pictures on historical subjects and the subjects from everyday life and lyric landscapes as well. In 1878, he was elected a free honorary member of Academy. In 1881, for his picture «Funeral of a child», he was elected an academician in 1879. Since 1895 onwards, Edelfelt was a full member of the Academy of Arts. He got an order to portray Emperor Nicholas II and the invitation from the vice-president of Academy of arts, count I. Tolstoy to participate among the 20 artists in the coronation ceremony of Nicholas I.
The development of Russian-Finish relations has been characterized by the periods of climaxes and lulls. In the 1870s, relations between the two countries were very close. This fact was due to the completion of the construction of the Russian-Finnish railways, which made a positive impact on the facilitation of the process of selling artworks of Finnish artists. The second «peak» of the intensity of cultural and artistic relations between Russia and Finland falls, oddly, to the end of the1890s. The most outstanding event of these years was the exhibition of Russian and Finnish artists held in 1898 at the Baron Stieglitz’s school of Arts and Industry with the active assistance of S.Diagilev and A.Edelfelt. V.Blomstedt. A.Edelfelt. M.Enkel, A.Gallen-Callela, A. Gebhardt, P. Halonen, E. Jarnefelt, B.Lagerstam, V.Valgren as well as the members of the Mir Iskusstva art society were among the participants of this memorable event. In the same year, this exhibition was transferred to Munich.
Although the opinions of the experts about this exhibition were divided, it contributed to the mutual enrichment between the cultures of our countries. However, some of the art-critics didn’t react positively to the pictures presented at the exhibition. Vladimir Stasov was one of them. On the one hand, the paintings of A.Gallen-Kallela caused his particular dislike, on the other hand, the canvas of Eldelfelt «A laundress» was named as one of the best works of the exhibition and was highly appreciated for the implementation of its idea. It was highly evaluated in monetary terms (3000 roubles). It was the most expensive of the paintings presented at the exhibition. Now this work is in the collection of the State Hermitage.
In 1899, was enacted the Manifesto limiting the rights of Finland. It caused the storm of outrage among the progressive Russian intellectuals and the residents of Finland as well. What’s more, it created the damage to the artistic relations. Finnish artists had to refuse from the collaboration with Sergey Diaghilev. Nevertheless, the interest to the art of our Nothern neighbour didn’t fade: it increased dramatically. Sergei Diaghilev regularly published in the magazine «Mir Iskusstva» (The World of Art), the reproductions of the works of Finnish artists, reviews and articles devoted to the art and architecture of Finland. The cultural relations between Russia and Finland continued.
A vivid illustration of this process is the biography of Eero Jarnefelt, one of the outstanding Finnish painters.
To understand the origins of his creative work it is necessary to look into the past, following the history of his family. The family roots of the Jarnefelts originate from the German family of Keldank, the representatives of one of its branches moved to Finland in the 18th century and made his home in Savo that is in Karelia, Finland. Eero’s grandfather worked as an assistant to the chief of the local police. He lived in the Hovila estate, in Tomajarvi, was married to the daughter of Johan Molander, the Bishop of Porvoo. They have eight children: four sons and four daughters, among whom, Alexander, the father of Eero was the youngest. After he had died prematurely, his estate was auctioned, and his widow with children moved to Kuopio, where they lived with their relatives in a difficult financial situation.
Aurora Jarnefelt wanted her sons to become civil servants, promote Finnish culture and oppose the increasing russification of Finland. Only Alexander, the youngest of her songs, implemented the desire of his mother. After graduating from the Finnish Cadet Corps in 1853, he continued his education at the Artillery Academy of St.Petersburg, where he studied with Nikolai Klodt von Yurgensburg, with whom he had friendly relations. Alexander met the younger sister of Nikolai Klodt Elizaveta. The young people fell in love and got married. For the mother of Alexander, this marriage was unexpected. She always warned his son to have nothing to do with Russians and hoped that would have a daughter-in-law from Finland.
The ancestors of Eero Jarnefelt from mother’s side — the Klodts — came from Italy. The representatives of one of the branches of this family took up their residence in Estonia in the middle of the 16th century.
They purchased the Castle of Jurgensburg (this fact explains the origin of the second part of their surname — Klodt von Jurgensburg). The family moved to Russia at the beginning of the 19th century, and, ultimately, became Russified.
The uncle of Elizaveta von Klodt — Peter Klodt was a famous Russian sculptor, the author of bronze horses placed on the Anichkov Bridge, the monuments to I. A Krylov in the Summer Garden and Nicolas I in Isaakievskaya Square. Konstantin Karlovich(1807-1879), Elizaveta’s father, was also a distinguished person: he was a famous general and the first wood engraver in Russia. He taught at the Academy of Arts in St.Petersburg. He had the children who possessed the talent for arts. Mikhail was a well-known artist, and a professor of Academy of Arts, his sister Olga was an artist who taught drawing. A cousin of Elizaveta, son of Peter Klodt Mikhail was also a well-known artist.
Elizaveta Konstantinovna and Alexander Jarnefelt married on December 22, 1857. They had nine children, and all of them displayed their artistic talents.
It is likely that the talent for art came from the mother’s family, and the mother’s views on art influenced her children. Two of her children became artists, as well as many members of their family. As already mentioned, Alexander Jarnefelt, was a rigid man of principles and honour. But it is far from the complete characterisation of his personality. He had an aptitude for literature and music, and his letters give the evidence of this. In the notes to his children, Alexander emphasised the idea of the importance of education and the development of human’s capabilities. His letters give us the evidence of his role as a father and mentor, but they tell us about the love for his children.
The first years after their wedding, the Jarnefelts lived in St.Petersburg. Then they had to move to Pulkovo because Alexander served as an officer-topographer in the Nikolaevskaya Military Academy. By the time when Eero (or Eric, as he was called in his family) was born in Vyborg in 1863, he already had his two brothers — Kasper and Arvid. At the beginning of her married life, Elizaveta talked to her children in Russian while Alexander — in Finnish. Nevertheless, Elizaveta started learning Finnish just after she had married Alexander. The parents would speak to each other only in Finnish, while in other Finnish aristocratic families, Swedish was the preferred language. When living in Vyborg, the eldest boys had learnt Finnish in a short period, and Eero had never learnt Russian because he had a Finnish nurse. Unless the mother of Eero had acquired the language of her new motherland, she and Eero had never had their common language to talk. This fact had the significant influence on their relations that weren’t as close as the ones with Casper or Arvid.
In 1870 the family moved to Helsinki, where Alexander was appointed as a senior officer-topographer. It meant closer ties with the Finnish-speaking circles of society, and Finnish had become the language of communication between mother and children as well. Later on, Elizaveta helped her children as a translator: in particular, she helped Casper who translated into Finnish Russian fiction. She also helped Arvid when he wrote «My Parents’ Novel» in three parts. The development of the Finnish language and culture was also the primary goal of Alexander Jarnefelt. As for Eero, he had no interest in studying at school. In the fifth grade, inspired by his brother Casper, he became interested in painting. Eero admired by the artworks of Hialmar Munsterjelm, the teacher of Casper, whose influence one can see in his early artworks. Eero and Arvid were taught since 1874 at the Finnish Art Society drawing school, at the classes of Frederic Ahlstedt. Contrary to Eero’s interests and the character of his talent, he graduated from the school as a top-level student with the highest grades.
Alexander Jarnefelt had the plans for his sons. He wanted them to make their careers as civil servants and to care for the prosperity of their country. It might be for these ideas of his parents, Eero would like to become a teacher after graduation from the school. Surprisingly, his father shared his passion for the art. All brothers: Casper, Arvid and Eero were equally talented, and it was almost impossible to compare the level of their talent just by analysing their early artworks.
Nevertheless, Alexander was able to recognise in Eero’s artworks all the qualities that in his opinion were so necessary for a representative of the art of the young nation. Patriotism, courage, justice, sociable character all these personality traits were presented more in Eero than in other sons of Alexander. Alexander was firmly convinced that following a personal calling is not the best choice for the personality. Albert Edelfelt was the person, whose patriotism and worldwide fame made a significant impact on Alexander’s thought when he was choosing a career path for his sons. It was the time when Finnish artists gained international fame and recognition. The fundamental idea in the creative activity of Eero Jarnefelt was the idea of the rise of Finnish art at an international level and the promotion of the Finnish culture.
In 1883, Eero Jarnefelt went to St.Petersburg to continue his education at St.Petersburg Academy of Arts. Most of the Finnish artists at that time studied at Paris where Albert Edelfelt and Akseli Gallen Kallela had already lived for a few years. For Eero Jarnefelt, St.Petersburg was a natural choice for many reasons, one of which was that his uncle Mikhail Klodt von Jurgensburg had been a professor of the Academy of Arts. When studying at the Academy of Arts, Eero lived in the family of his uncle, Mikail Klodt. As for Eero himself, he hadn’t been the source of any financial problems for his uncle whose expenses were moderate.What’s more, living with his relatives, Eero didn’t feel lonely at first. For Alexander Jarnefelt, whose four sons and three daughters were studying at for different educational institutions at that time, the practical aspect of the education of his children was as crucial as acquiring theoretical knowledge.
Eero neither liked St.Petersburg, nor the official educational system that was at the Academy of Arts where he was studying at that time.
However, the years he spent at the Academy was the period of the emergency and flowering of the art of the group called The Itinerants to which joined his uncle. Mikhail Klodt was among the first artists who signed the Manifesto of The Itinerants. Together with C.Vorobyov and A.Bogoliubov Klodt took part in the organisation of the Landscape Painting Class in the Academy of Arts. Vorobyov, Bogoliubov and Klodt made up the rules of the Landscape Class. These artists promote the landscape painting as a genre which, in their opinion, is not inferior to other genres. Moreover, it is capable of the expression of the complex ideas which drew the close attention of the liberal intellectuals at that time.
«Mikhail Konstantinovich Klodt was a famous landscape artist of the second half of the 19th century, the artist who possessed a notable artistic personality. He left us many amazing realistic landscapes, excellently painted and expressed his genuine love for his motherland and to nature. He was able to show the relations between humans and their environment, not separating them from each other. Not only did he have the talent for arts but he was also a nice person. He was respected for his honesty, honour and strong civic stance. All these personality traits are not of the primary importance for many people nowadays. As it was mentioned above, he was one of the first artists who joined The Itinerants art society, at the same time, defending the young artists of democratic orientation from the reactionary administration of the Academy. In 1873, he refused to sign the document, forbidding young artists to participate in the temporary exhibitions organised by The Itinerants. In 1874, Klodt signed a letter of protest against the slanderous accusation of Vasily Vereschagin, the outstanding Russian artist of battle scenes in connection with his refusal from his title of a professor.
At the same time, he was well-known for his independent behaviour among the Itinerants. He openly expressed his opinion about the landscapes of Arkhip Kuindzhi exhibited at the Itinerants’ exhibition in 1879. The Itinerants blamed him for his attempt to consolidate his position at the Academy. In response to this unfair accusation, the artist resigned from The Itinerants art society, reserving the right to be exhibited at the exhibition of this association. The critics from the Itinerants Art Society responded immediately, albeit in a mediated form.V.V.Stasov, the leading propagandist of the democratic ideas of the Itinerants, has also changed his attitude towards Jarnefelt. For example, he highly appreciated the painting of Jarnefelt A Large Road in Autumn (1863).
However, generally having a good opinion of the picture Jarnefelt’s picture At the Plow in Malorossiya, he recognised a small defect, making a wrong impression about the painting: the hair of the ox was too carefully painted.
Eero Jarnefelt had to live in this artistic environment. What was his life in St.Petersburg? In his letter to his brother Arvid, Eero described it as «rather dull». The lectures at the Academy during the day, drawing in the evenings and, in addition to this — playing music — that was the daily routine of Jarnefelt. The influence of the academic system we can see in his numerous studies of trees. The ideas about reforming the contemporary Russian society were essential to him. These topics were often discussed in the drawing room of their house where gathered his family, friends and like-minded people.
Surprisingly, in his diary, Eero Jarnefelt never mentioned any Russian artist by their name, with the exception of Sergey Diaghilev with whom he discussed the issue related to Lev Tolstoy. Visual arts had never been the subject of his topics. Here it is what he writes on the occasion of his visit to St.Petersburg in 1897: «A lot of memories of my youth are coming to my mind. However, they are so sad because these memories are about the time wasted and youth lost. Why do people see the light in their lives so late? This disappointment might happen because of their overconfidence which prevents them from being humble and ready to focus on the higher truth only. Nevertheless, some people understand the real meaning of truth from the very beginning. The only power makes some of them move away from the edge of defeat — this is their willpower. Those who come to this, see no alternative way.» Then Jarnefelt mentions «the amazing Hermitage», as well as Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt and Dutch landscapes as the authorities that every artist should follow.

When finishing a brief historical overview and analysis of the facts of Jarnefelt’s biography, raises the question: in what a degree St.Petersburg, in general, and his studying at the Academy of Arts, in particular, have influenced him? Some researchers (mostly Finnish) are of the opinion that this influence wasn’t significant. On the other hand, there is the information that Jarnefelt was closely associated with the Itinerants’ art society and with Ilya Repin himself. The first experts’ opinion is in favour of the former view (see above). The comments of Jarnefelt himself are in favour of the second opinion. Probably, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The evidence given by Jarnefelt about his life in St.Petersburg as «dull» shouldn’t be interpreted too ambiguously and straightforward. For the first time, Jarnefelt came to St.Petersburg in 1883. He stayed there until the year of1886. If you recall the biography of Mikhail Klodt, it was the years which had been coming before the difficult period in his life. In 1880, he left the Itinerants'(Peredvizhniki) movement. In 1886, in connection with his illness, he was transferred to an out-of-staff position, and in 1894, he was finally dismissed from the Academy of Arts. During these years Klodt underwent financial hardships. Perhaps the atmosphere in his uncle’s house affected Eero’s memoirs that are imbued with the feelings of sadness and despair. Another factor, which affected his opinion, was the atmosphere of St.Petersburg, its culture, traditions and the lifestyle of the people living there. The atmosphere of the official Academy was alien to him, but needless to say, many progressive and intelligent people didn’t come to terms with the rules and regulations of the Academy. When studying at the Academy, Eero Jarnefelt took a dislike to endless lessons and classes: lectures, painting, long-lasting studies of nature. He might think that for a young artist, there wasn’t much creativity in these activities. At the same time, it is known that his uncle, as a head of the landscape class at the Academy, highly rated landscape as a genre of painting. He considered a landscape not as a study of nature, but as a finished work of art which has its concept. Following this idea, Jarnefelt demanded of his students making detailed sketches of the places they depicted. And only after this initial stage should they begin to work on their final versions of the landscapes using oils.
It would help Jarnefelt in the future. Importantly, like Albert Edelfelt and other Finnish artists, Jarnefelt gave the highest priority to realism in art. The tendency to express reality realistically was characteristic not only for the Russian but European art as well. The idea of the realistic depiction of the world around us was promoted by the Dusseldorf Academy of Art, whose ideas found significant support among Finnish artists. French Impressionism was one of the aspects of this realistic trend. Albert Edelfelt, Eero Jarnefelt and other Finnish artists were under the influence of the Impressionism. After his graduation from the Academy of arts in St.Petersburg, Jarnefelt went to Paris to perfect his painting skills.
We can agree with the Finnish researcher of the biography of Jarnefelt that the Russian culture, in general, had had a profound influence on the artist. What’s more, it was due to the family traditions and reading Russian books. Importantly, Jarnefelt in his creative works didn’t promote progressive ideas in a straightforward way like the Itinerants (Peredvizhniki); his art was deprived of the acute social orientation. By creating his artworks, Jarnefelt didn’t mean to preach or call to take action against something. The picture The Forest is being Burnt» (1893, Soviet art critics called it Forced Labour) is the only one where there are social and accusatory motives. Maxim Gorky suggested some moments in this picture illustrate the idea of social injustice. There is another opinion about the main idea of this work. For the Finnish art historian S.Sinisalo, the main idea of this picture is that it excellently illustrates the idea of the French artist Bastien Lepage of the symbolic relations between humans and nature. Nevertheless, Jarnefelt is, first of all, a lyrist. The close relations between humans and nature that is the crucial moment in his landscapes. This aspect of his creative works has more in common with the main idea expressed in the paintings of Mikhail Klodt. Jarnefelt was the most prominent Finnish artist who created the realistic paintings. Not only the precision in depicting the nature of his motherland and the life of Finns are the intrinsic part of his artworks, but the glorification of his country and people who live in it can we see in the paintings of Jarnefelt. As an example, we can use such pictures as «July afternoon»,(1891), «Washerwomen on the shore» (1889), «Returning home» (1903), » The portrait of Matilda Vrede» (1896) The formulation of Aksel Gallen Kallela about his stand in life can be considered as applicable to the life and creativity of Eero Jarnefelt: «I can always reach the point where my country could be satisfied with my accomplishments, but my ambitions call me to go forward: everything or nothing, the first or last. This my view of the world, and I want to carry it through my life.» The idea of the high civil service to his nation, his people, this probably is the essential idea that Eero Jarnefelt drew from the Russian culture and spiritual life. This idea is valid up to the present. It brings together the cultures of the two nations — Finnish and Russian.
1. Безрукова М., «Искусство Финляндии. Основные этапы становления национальной художественной школы», М., Изобразительное искусство, 1986.
2 Безрукова М., «Мир Галлен-Каллелы».В журнале «Юный художник», 1990, № 5, с 35-41.
3. Безрукова М., «Скандинавская и финская живопись из музеев СССР», в журнале «Юный художник», 1990, № 10.
4. Безрукова М., «Певец финского народа», в журнале «Культура и жизнь», 1961, № 10, с 39-40.
5. Безрукова-Долматовская М., «С.П.Дягилев и Финляндия. К 100-летию выставки русских и финляндских художников». В сборнике «Проблемы развития зарубежного искусства». Материалы XI научной конференции в память профессора М.В.Доброклонского СПб, 1998.
6. Березина В., Альберт Эдельфельт и его произведения в Государственном Эрмитаже и других музеях СССР». Ленинград, издательство Государственного Эрмитажа, 1963.
7. Березина В. «О двух рисунках Эдельфельта». Сообщения Государственного Эрмитажа. Выпуск 28. Ленинград 1967.
8. Беспалова Л. «Очерки о жизни и творчестве русских художников II половины XIX века. Т. I». М, 1959
9. Левинсон А. «Аксель Галлен». Суждение о характере творчества и произведениях художника». СПб, 1908
10. «Мир искусства. К столетию выставки русских и финляндских художников 1898 года».” Palace editions”, 1898.
11. Суворова Л. «Финские академисты». В сборнике «Петербургские чтения 1998-1999», с. 472-475. СПб, 1999.
12. СПб, 1999.12. Finland Ateneum art museum. Helsinki, 2001
13. Martin, Timo, Siven, Douglas. “Akseli Gallen-Kallela. National artist of Finlandia.” Finland, 1985.
14. Valkonen, Markku.Kultakausi, Porvoo, 1995
15. Vanderdoe, Kirk. “Northern Light. Nordic art at the turn of the century”. Yale University press, New Heyven, London.
The links to the related sites:
• http://finland.ice-nut.ru/finland07502.htm
• http://www.phespirit.info/pictures/finland/g005.htm
• http://www.fennoscandia.ru/scan/30030401.html

The Wonders That Are Around Us

There are many things in the world that we are accustomed to but usually ignore: buildings, streets, trees, monuments, cars passing by all this is our environment and the part of our lives. Regrettably, very often, you appreciate this when you begin to realize that something from this chain of events has been lost.

I love Pavlovsk because many events of my life are intimately connected to this place and fully captured by this park: I like having the breath of fresh air suffused with forest fragrances, as well as watching its inhabitants — birds and animals and listening to its fabulous sounds.   Not only its flora and fauna are the only things which I enjoy the most, but the beautiful views of the park with its fantastic sculptures and architectural monuments which are created by the talented architects and landscape designers, who implemented their ideas about ideal nature in such a picturesque scenery.  Designed by prominent painters, sculptors, architects and landscape designers, it, as it may seem, aims to inspire to create something.

As long as I’ve been visiting this park, I’ve got to know every its corner.Nevertheless, every time I see these dearest places, your relationships with them are becoming stronger. At the same time, you discover something new for yourself. The memorial office of Anna Ivanovna Zelenova, who was the director of the Pavlovsk Palace Museum for more than 30 years, became one of these new things. This «museum in the museum» located in one of the palace’s wings. Not to admire the exquisite adornment of the rooms do people come there, but to pay tribute to the memory of this outstanding person, without whom the renovation of this absolute treasure of our culture and the place that people like visiting could hardly be possible.

Here one can feel what it is the essence of any memorial museum exhibition: it is the effect of presence; it is that characterizes the person. The atmosphere of these museum’s rooms is very compelling. Every visitor is welcomed by the museum keepers who, as it may seem, are ready to talk about Anna Ivanovna for hours.As for the director of the Pavlovsk Museum and Natural Resort, every time he arranges the excursions for the Museum’s guests of honor, he leads them in this cabinet. Every exhibit here is the genuine thing: it belonged to Anna Ivanovna Zelenova, its former owner. It speaks for itself. The office is modestly furnished: a large writing desk, bookcases, books, pictures on the walls. Every object gives us the information about this wonderful woman. On her desk, one can see papers, technical drawings and the set of drawing tools, which she always used for her work. The large half-length portrait of her, painted with oil-based paints on canvas, and the landscape of the Pavlovsk Park, it is all that could be considered as luxuries. For everyone here, Anna Ivanovna is like the person who is near and dear to them. She made the impression of an ordinary person that she considered herself. She just did the job she loved, and, at the difficult time for our country, simply doing her duty, trying to be maximally useful. However, after the decades, it has become clear that what has been done was predestined. Not being a person of good health, but possessing truly iron will, she had to do many things that an average person couldn’t usually afford. You can’t help but think about that when standing in the Palace’s corridors in front of the more than individual height photographs of the ruins of the Palace, taken a right after the end of WWII.

What it was, the war? One can remember the sage words Konstantin Simonov, the Russian prominent writer and poet. He said that the war is different. A soldier in a trench sees one thing, a commander — another, and civilians — something else. What did the war mean for museum employees? Looking at the photo, published in the book of memories of Adelaide Jolkina (the adopted daughter of A.I. Zelenova) about Anna Zelenova. It portrays for women: Elena Nikolaevna Elkin, the director of the Summer Garden Museum, Anna Ivanovna Zelenova, the Director of the Pavlovsk Palace Museum, Marina Alexandrovna Tikhomirova, the Keeper of the Peterhof Museum and Evgenia Leonidovna Turova, the Director of Palace Museums and the Parks of Tsarskoye Selo. «The Invincible Blockade Brotherhood» — it is the caption of this photo. They are standing very closely to each other, and, probably feeling happy and satisfied with outliving one more day and doing their utmost for the benefit of their country and museums, firmly believing in our victory. Like these days, at that time, the vast majority of art historians and museum employees were women, who put on their shoulders all the hardships of the war. Anna Ivanovna Zelenova is one of them. Her life, which was filled with work and cares about her friends and loved ones, her personal and professional duty to her country, seemingly, came naturally to her. At the same time, to a great extent, her life is so unusual that it deserves to be turned into the feature film- biopic, which judging its sophisticated twist of plot and the temperature, wouldn’t be inferior to other contemporary movies nominated for the highest film awards.

In fact, there are many films, created by our filmmakers, about the labor exploits if workers, dedicated scientists, brave soldiers, militiamen athletes, rock climbers, etc.However, one film has not been created yet: the film of a big scale, which glorifies the heroism of the people of one of the most peaceful professions -museum employees, curators who take care of the cultural legacy of the past.

She came to work in the Pavlovsk Palace Museum in 1934. Although she was a very young girl, she had to go through many serious tests during her life and, eventually, she had gained the mature wisdom. She was born in an ordinary family. Her father worked as a mechanical engineer; mother was a skilled dressmaker. Honesty, diligence, empathy, aspiration for knowledge and enthusiasm for learning — these were so important values were being instilled in her by her parents during the years of her childhood. She had the lifelong passion for studying and was ready to share her knowledge and experience with others. When she was a student of the Peterschule, the famous German school in St.Petersburg, she gained the excellent drawing skills while attending the classes of design. Subsequently, these skills come in handy, when her father fell seriously ill, and she had to earn a living by taking a part-time job as a draftswoman. Like many talented people, Anna Ivanovna showed her aptitude for many areas of human activity. In her childhood, she attended the classes in the Ballet and Drama schools. While studying at the Art School and participated in the Theatre Director Courses, she taught illiterate people to read and write. She possessed the outstanding engineering capabilities from her father that is why she had studied at the Machine-Building Institute for two years. Then she was fully embraced by the desire to study humanities, and history of art. She studied at the Leningrad University, the Linguistic Faculty, specializing in art history, and at the Philological Faculty of the A.I.Hertsen Pedagogical Institute as a part-time student. After studying at the Courses of Proletarian Guides, she developed a significant number of manuals for excursions around the city, many of which she conducted herself.

No sooner had she been taken on, then she drew the attention of her colleagues. After a short time, she was asked to conduct the demonstration excursion. After a brief period, she was invited to conduct the demonstration excursion.

She was a hard-working person. Anna Ivanovna wrote manuals for guides, under her leadership, the Museum displays were formed (mainly in the Rose Pavilion and Pavilion Krik destroyed during the WWII). Importantly, she the vast amount of work was done at that time: she made the inventory of the exhibits which were kept in the Museum, the Rossi library. In addition to this, the architectural inventory of the Museum was made. In 1940, the group of the Academy of Arts students was assigned for the practical experience in the museum. The students had to sketch and make measurements of the details of the architectural decor. It was vital for that time. Despite the fact that all museums, palaces and private collections were nationalized in our country, they were in a very poor state, and their funds with the exhibits of the great value were embezzled by those who were in power at that time or held a higher position. These people considered the cultural legacy of our country as their private property, which could be sold abroad or given in the form of bribes, or seized for the purpose of arranging their life. It is known that Alexei Tolstoy, the famous Russian and Soviet writer, who was so distinguished by the Government, came to the Pavlovsk Museum to select some pieces of the Palace’s antique furniture for his dacha situated nearby. One could have the courage which had Anna Ivanovna to commit such an act, which was committed by her. She dared to remind the famous literature classic that she,  apparently made a mistake, and what he saw there, it was not objects from a warehouse he was able to choose for himself; all those thighs belonged to the Public Institution.

The talents of Anna Zelenova were appreciated very soon. She was offered a job as a member of emerging team of the newly founded Museum of the History of Leningrad, which was allocated in the premises of the Rumyantsev Mansion which was located on the English Embankment. The Museum Staff set a goal to organize the historical museum which was so necessary for our city at that time. For this great purpose, such talented people as Anna Zelenova was were of the utmost importance.

But the real challenge for her was the evacuation of the works of art from the Pavlovsk Museum. She came back there in the summer of 1941, almost immediately after the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, as the person authorized for the evacuation of the items of the high cultural value and the representative of the administration of the city. Despite the fact that as early as in the year of 1936, the Special Commission, which was responsible for the evacuation of the exhibits was established due to the orders of the Administration of the Leningrad’s Palaces and Parks, and the particular plan for evacuation artworks in the event of war or emergency state had been created, the situation in the Pavlovsk Museum was not simple. The Museum administration was totally supportive of the position that conservation of the Museum exhibits, is the solution to the problem they would have to face to in the near time. All valuables that could be replaced were moved to the first floor. However nobody could realize the degree of the impending disaster, nobody could even imagine that the bomb would fall into the Palace itself. The two weeks, so necessary for collecting and packing exhibits had been lost. At that point, Anna Ivanovna made the crucial decision: to evacuate all that could be evacuated and bury carefully everything that couldn’t be taken away. In this way, the Museum’s collection of the Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures of a high value was saved.It was hidden in the vaults and bricked up in the wall. To mask the sculptures some tricky things needed to be done. The newly built part of the wall, behind which many sculptures were placed, had been splattered with the cement mortar and mud. But for the great effort of Anna Zelenova, this so valuable collection wouldn’t have survived and remained unharmed. Many statues were buried in the Park. And all this work was done by the joint effort of residents, who didn’t go to the battlefront: the seniors, women, and teenagers! But it was still not all that had to be done.There were many problems that needed to be solved: the selection, packing and transporting items designated for evacuation were the problems of the vital importance those days. At the same time, the research staff was engaged in the process of documentation about the valuable things: they were sketching fabrics, furnishings, architectural details of the Palace. These documentary sketches that helped in the reconstruction of the Museum exhibition had become the invaluable asset for the reconstruction of the Palace after the War. Anna Ivanovna went permanently round to describe in detail what she saw. Everything was in perfect order: everything was documented with the utmost precision. Considering the severe conditions in which titanic work had been doing, such as the thunder of exploding shells, constant power cuts, the museum staff the Museum staff made heroic efforts to have everything done on a tight timetable. The part of exhibits was evacuated in Gorky(Nizhny Novgorod) and Sarapul. However, the majority of the exhibits were stored in the basement if St.Isaac’s Cathedral. Anna Ivanovna left Pavlovsk September 15, 1941,  when the Germans entered the city. It was a very long and arduous way, which she had to cover on foot.

Then the 900 days of blockade, the anticipation of the victory and her work in St. Isaak Cathedral followed.

The exhibition «To be remembered» devoted to the 60 anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War was opened in the cellars of St. Isaac Cathedral. It was aimed to tell us about the exhibits of the suburban palaces-museums which were stored in these premises at the time of WWII. The activity of Anna Ivanovna Zelenova was also reflected in this exhibition. To keep these exhibits in so terrible conditions was not as easy as it may seem. The cellars were damp, there weren’t heated, some premises were flooded. The museum employees had to use every warm and fine day to dry the exhibits. For example, between the columns of St. Isaac’s Cathedral were stretched the ropes, on which the antique carpets were drying out.

Only in winter of the year 1944 did Anna Ivanovna come back to Pavlovsk. There is the photograph taken by her and named «The Palace’s tears.» This piece of melted lead from the roof of burning Palace looks as if it is the tears of herself. Nevertheless, above all, she was the person of action. At that point, it was necessary to take an immediate action. First and foremost, the state organizations, which were in charge of the city’s museums must be informed of the urgent necessity of the renovation the Palace and Park. She did that with the perseverance and conviction so characteristic of her. If we read her report of the first post-war curatorial round, it becomes clear that there is virtually no Palace, but then, in the second part of her report, she gives with relentless persistence the list of the survived details and items from the Palace, which could be restored by using these objects. The following tasks were to conduct conservation, in other words, to protect that little what had been preserved, and to that end it was necessary as quickly as possible to restore the roof of the Palace. To implement this idea, Anna Ivanovna did everything to get the best construction equipment. Such a crane was only in the Office for the Construction of Airfields. However, there was no chance to get this crane. In this case, Anna Ivanovna uses all her connections, even the casual ones, appealing to human emotions.  Once, while she was going somewhere by tram, she met the soldier with whom she was familiar in the pre-war period. It was a real stroke of luck for her because this soldier had worked as a sculptor before the beginning of the war and had the significant working experience.This soldier served in the units of the State Airfield Management. He suggested how to make an appointment with S.M.Sapgir, the engineer captain of the State Management of Airfield Construction in People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), who, as it turned out, was very fond of Pavlovsk. He and his wife loved to walk in the Pavlovsk Park in the pre-war period. But, despite his desire to do something to help Anna Ivanovna, he couldn’t take such a major decision, and then he decided to help this courageous woman who would get her way, by all means, even though it would come to the talks with L.Beria, the almighty head of NKVD. Considering the tenacity and perseverance of Anna Ivanovna, S.M. Sapgir suggested her to whom should refer Anna Ivanovna when being in Moscow. He did everything to help Anna Ivanovna to meet with L.B. Safraz’an, who was the deputy of Beria.Even though he was a very determined and willful man, he could value faithful and devoted to the idea people. As a very passionate person with the excellent skills of convincing people in her rightness, Anna Ivanovna had achieved the necessary backing.

In addition to the Palace, which was transformed into the ruins, the Park which employed several generations of artists, architects, gardeners, was destroyed and disfigured by the fascist barbarians. The park had been mined by fascists who left a countless number of mines on its territory. Every day during the mine clearing of the Park, many field engineers, among whom were young girls, were killed.

The meticulous work on the restoration of the Palace’s interiors, the creation of the museum’s exhibition and restoration of the park lands was to be done. Here is where the most valuable materials saved during the war as well as the records, layouts, and sketches made by Anna Ivanovna and her staff had proved to be useful at the moment. For example, the carefully made drawings by T.A.Bazhenova were used for the restoration of the old tissues, curtains, upholstery and the famous canopy over the bed of Empress Maria Fiodorovna.

Instead of the thousands of trees, which had been mercilessly cut down by the fascist, the new saplings were planted in the places of stumps of the old ones. The species of the new trees were being selected accordingly.

In addition to scientific issues, the Director of the Museum was, literally overburden not only with the housekeeping problems (e.g. how and where one can get the money, building materials to restore the Palace and Park) but also purely domestic, everyday problems. During the first post-war years, people didn’t have enough food to eat, very difficult it was to get firewood for heating the museum’s premises and living houses, there also weren’t many things which were so necessary for everyday life. In those years, Anna Ivanovna was responsible not only for herself and her elderly mother, but she took care of her employees. She was constantly going on foot to the city to bring food on the sleigh because she had a special passport for going from Pavlovsk to Leningrad. She also arranged with residents about the milk from their cows to help the sick and disabled employees as well as their children.

In parallel with these everyday economic problems, it was necessary to work out the solution to other problems related to the future museum’s exhibition, methodical developments for the future tours and attracting the highly qualified staff. She had managed to unite and encourage the team of great experts by her ideas. Together with Anna Ivanovna worked outstanding masters: the architect Fedor Fedorovich Oleynik, Anatoliy Vladimirovich Treskin-  a very gifted artist, who couldn’t imagine himself without brushes and paints, Natalia Ivanovna Gromova, who inspected the restoration works, Mikhail Markovich Kozlov, a very experienced specialist, who was in charge of  the team of parquet layers and Viktor Yakovlevich Evseev — an expert in the upholstering and decorative works. She was helped by the like-minded people such as Nikolay Viktorovich and Zoe Andreevna Weiss, Stanislav Vladimirovich Tronchinskii. The Very complicated relationship did Anna Ivanovna have with Anatoly Mikhailovich Kuchumov, the Curator in Chief of the Museum, but nevertheless, under his guide, the exhibition plan of the Pavlovsk Palace was developed. He perfectly felt every piece of the exhibition and knew the history of each object which was exhibited. Possessing an excellent visual memory, he could determine where one or another thing is originated from, he also knew what is stored in the world’s leading museums, because he visited these museums or carefully examined their albums and catalogs. Together with Anna Ivanovna Zelenova, they were doing one great and necessary for all people job.

Anna Ivanovna had managed to defend her plan for the reconstruction of the Palace in the most difficult discussion where she insisted on keeping to the appearance of the palace in the form in which it had already existed during the reign of Maria Feodorovna. Among the most determined opponents of Anna Ivanovna was Anna Petrovna Chubova, a major expert in ancient art and architecture. She insisted on restoring only the central part of the Palace, which was created by Charles Cameron. With the great difficulty, using her innate skills of persuasion and tack, having great respect to the merits of A.P.Chubova, Anna Zelenova brought to real life her plan of the restoration of the Palace, which included the renovation of the Vincenzo Brenna’s galleries.

The Palace and Park had been gradually revived turning into those Palace and Park that people had known before the war. However, these great results, which had been achieved by the enormous efforts, could have been nullified due to the different circumstances. Someone of the high-ranked people had found «more useful» application for the empty building and vast land around it. Such ideas, as the concept of the accommodation in the Palace’s rooms Zootechnics College, Tuberculosis Hospital for children or Naval College, were put forward that time. Having the ardent desire to gain moral support, Anna Ivanovna wrote to Igor Emmanuilovich Grabar, the nationwide known academician.

There was the grave danger for the Museum. There are many sad episodes in the history: many museums were virtually destroyed in our country in such a way after WWII. The high number of the museum’s items were distributed to other museums, and their buildings, which were used for other purposes were coming to terrible dilapidation.

The results of this, so called, wise use of the museum areas, we still can see, for example, in the Gatchina Palace and the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. Nevertheless, the miracle, which had been so passionately desired and expected for such a long time, had happened, and the first ten rooms of the Palace were inaugurated in 1956. The danger was over. By the year of 1970, the Palace was restored completely. To see this human-made miracle people came from everywhere forming the very long queues to get the tickets to the museum. Not only the Palace and the Park were restored, but the spirit of the Pavlovsk itself had been brought to real life. Everything there was permeated with art. The Palace served its purpose as the venue for many exciting events such as the concerts of the famous all over the country artists. Igor Ilyinsky, Lyubov Orlova, Yury Visbor liked to give their performances in this wonderful place.  Elena Obraztsova the world famous opera star  started her artistic career giving her first concerts there when she was a conservatory student. Ironically, at that time, which was considered to be stable and trouble-free, when the most fundamental painful problems had been successfully resolved, and the Palace had become one of the most famous tourist brands, as it became apparent, such people as Anna Ivanovna was had not been needed. The new time, which was also known as the era of stagnation, created the need for new people: not active and dedicated, but vain people, who feel comfortable in the museum’s environment of those days, not willing to go beyond the instructions and orders of the administration. What’s more, to succeed in their careers, these people needed to be close to the Communist Party’s circles. In 1978, Anna Ivanovna had to resign from the position of the Director of the Museum. She had been transferred to the Department of the Culture and Education in the Gatchina Palace. She died in 1980 shortly after that. She died on her battle station while speaking at the meeting of the local branch of the Communist Party which took place at the Pavlovsk Palace. Given her personal life, which, in fact, she didn’t have, she accomplished a feat. So dedicated she was to her scientific work at the museum that she couldn’t imagine her life without her lifelong dedication: she saved and preserved the Pavlovsk Palace and Park for the future generations. Her work and everyday life were tightly interwound. As a result of the restoration of the Palace-and-Park ensemble, new methods of conservation and restoration of the cultural object during the war were discovered, developed and then widely used. Years later, when the scientific community decided to give her a doctorate on the grounds of the great results of her work, but without defending the dissertation,  she rejected this offer, motivating her statement by the idea that as a real citizen and patriot, she had never earned wealth for herself by taking the advantage from the disasters of her compatriots.

Her human feat means the love for her motherland and her people. It was expressed in what had been done. She was able to defend, revive and restore the essential — the cultural treasures of her country. She struggled for the Pavlovsk Museum before the war, when it was widely believed that such an unbalanced and talentless ruler, who was, in the opinion of the art historians, Paul I, didn’t need to be commemorated. What’s more, everything that was created under his order as well as by the will of the other crowned customers, appeared not thanks to their efforts, but in spite of them. The idea that it was for talented masters from people who were able to withstand the oppression and tyranny, which predominated in our country at that time, was widely supported by the Soviet art critics and experts. In their opinion, these artists from people demonstrated their bright talents, creating buildings, sculptures and other great pieces of art, amazing their descendants. Under the leadership of this fragile woman, who had a real iron will, the Palace and Park had risen from ruins and ashes. And now, returned to the people, these world treasures continue to live the life that was given to them by their creators, life which seems to be breathed into these masterpieces to revive them for posterity. A genuine spirit of the era, which was brought to real life, was the result of the efforts of her and the Museum staff. It is not the modern beautified replica of the old architectural ensemble, but the monument to the whole historical period. Looking at the Palace and Park, I can’t help but come to the idea that if Emperor Paul I and his wife Maria Feodorovna left such a memory after themselves, they deserve to be made a low bow.

Anna Ivanovna has never been forgotten by the Museum staff, but only now for some reason, her personality, her life, and work have caused the new wave of public attention. Such phenomena as Perestroika, economic reforms in our country and establishment of the new social consciousness have, undoubtedly, contributed to this. To a great extent, the activity of the Director of the Museum since the 1990s, considering the degree of responsibility in decision-making is something akin to the director’s activities during the war. How to restore the Museum objects, many of which are in a very poor state, where to find the sponsors or the patron of the arts, and finally, how our cultural heritage should be advertised in our time when the vast majority of people is interested only in the material things? To be able to solve these problems you need to be a truly dedicated and outgoing person, like it was Anna Ivanovna Zelenova.

Unfortunately, we accept as a truth that, as a general rule, talented and dedicated people in our country remain not understood by their contemporaries. The great things are seen from a distance. Now, after already almost thirty years from the time when Anna Ivanovna passed away, many things have been done to perpetuate her memory. In the year of 2005, her Memorial Office was opened in the Palace, one of the Pavlovsk’s streets was named after her, the contest on the best design of her monument took place. After all, she was named as a person of the 20th century. It goes without saying that everything that was done for people by her deserves to be mentioned as often as possible. Every kind word should be said in the memory of this bright person, who brought back to our life these wonders, which are around us and which we never want to lose.

The materials used:

Аделаида Елкина. Сделайте это для меня. Общество «Знание». С.Петербург. 2005

The interview with Nikolai Tretiakov, the Director of the Pavlovsk State Museum Reserve.


The materials from the websites:

The cultural layer. Хранители. http://www.5-tv.ru/programs/broadcast/391/

Iryna Marchuk The fans of Pavlovsk choose the monument to AnnaZelenova My neighbourhood: http://www.mr-spb.ru/story/pushkn/story_3670.html

The Union of Museums of Russia. The exposition of the Pavlovsk Museum-Reserve http://www.souzmuseum.ru/news/2006/Ekspozicii_Muzejazapovednika_Pavlovsk.html?SID=9b1a17a2be9d38bb90a10c03c8e6c78d

St. Isaac’s Cathedral. To remember. http://www.cathedral.ru/museum/exhibitions/remember

ГМЗ «Павловск» http://www.pavlovskmuseum.ru/museum/pavlovsk_history/poteri/

Architect Kostantin Thon and the destiny of one of his creations (St.Catherine Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo)

The summer of the year of 2006 I spent in the town of Pushkin which is located 23 kilometers from St.Petersburg. While working in the open air, I noticed a large building foundation pit, fenced with a high fence and located on the site the central square near Gostiny Dvor. This vast area was limited by the Moskovskaya, Pushkinskaya, Oranzhereinaya and Leontievskaya streets. In the center of this large square, there was the statue of Lenin, next to which, in the 1990s, had been set up the wooden cross with the information plaque. In this plaque, it was written that in this area there was St.Catherine Cathedral the main temple of Tsarskoye Selo, which was designed by Konstantin Andreevich Thon, the distinguished Russian architect.

As I got to know later, the pit I saw in the square, had been dug in connection with the archaeological excavations of the temple’s basement. The excavations were held to solve the problem of the restoration of the cathedral and building it in its initial location as it had been done with the Christ Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

Konstantin Thon is the architect and the author of the projects of these cathedrals, the expert in architecture whose merit in the field of architecture cannot be overestimated. He left a rich legacy. Today, many of the buildings created on his projects, we can see in the streets of our cities. He built in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Novgorod, Pskov, Kazan and Tomsk. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, The Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, the Moscow Railway Terminal in St. Petersburg, the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Peterhof,  the St.Vladimir Cathedral in Sevastopol- this is not a complete list of those buildings, which were built by this  architect,  known nationwide.

He made a significant contribution to the activity of the Russian Academy of Arts, where, he spent most of his life: as a student in the beginning, then as a professor, and for the last 17 years of his career (from 1854 to 1871), as a rector of the architectural department. In addition to teaching and administrative activities, Konstantin Ton was actively involved in the work on the reconstruction of the Academy of Arts building and its environment. Some of the biggest interiors of the Imperial Academy of Arts — the meeting room and library were created on his project (later on, in the mid-60s of the 19th century, these rooms were renovated under the supervision of his pupils). The Home Church of St.Catherine, which was consecrated in 1837, was also designed by him. The landing stage near the Academy of Arts with the original sculptures of Ancient Egyptian Sphinxes brought to St.Petersburg in 1834, is also the creation of this wizard. Since that time, these sculptures have been considered as the symbols of our city and its guards.

Konstantin Thon was a broadly educated person who had considerable expertise in the area of his activity. He was perfectly prepared for his future profession when studying for 12 years in the Academy of Arts; he had there such excellent mentors as Adrian Zakharov, Thomas de Tomon, and Andrei Voronikhin. After graduating from the Academy in 1815, he got the second gold medal for the draft of the Senate giving him the right to the additional in-depth training. However, due to the different circumstances, which were beyond of his control, his trip had been postponed for four years. Only in 1819, he set out his journey to Italy, where he studied the ancient architectural monuments in detail. Apart from Italy, Ton had been living in Paris for a time. When living in this city, he attended the classes at the École Polytechnique, where, at those days engineering disciplines were taught by the best experts in Europe.

This knowledge was very helpful for the young architect when he returned home. A wide variety of information about the architectural monuments of Old Russia he gained during his studies of architecture was also to his advantage. Konstantin Thon is one of the first Russian architects who paid close attention to the comprehensive study of the world’s architectural heritage and its application to the contemporary building practice. His original method deviates from the conventions of the Russian classical architecture in the first third of the 19th century. The innovative approach of Konstantin Thon was based on the concept of the freedom of the logical framework. It wasn’t fettered by the canons of the selection decision.

Konstantin Thon can be considered as the founder of such a style in the Russian architecture as eclecticism, the method of the «smart choice» of various architectural styles. In the opinion of A.P. Brullov, his contemporary and like-minded person, «architecture is, first of all, the art of the space distributing and combining.»The role of the architect, as it was thought, was the role of the leading builder and organizer. Thon firmly believed that the construction of any building is impossible without the engineering-geological research of the area. The search of a constructive solution and precise calculations were considered to be the main stages of the designing process. As a result of such an attitude, Konstantin Thon had always got the efficiency of the building process and the operation of the building, as well as the convenience and benefit of people for whom it was intended. In the opinion of Konstantin Thon, the external appearance of the building «should express its essence.»

As it was considered in those days, all architectural styles that could be created had already existed or created. The emergence of these styles and trends was attributed to many factors such as history, geography, climate, etc. Architects had to take into account the experience in construction that people gained for years.The classical style in architecture was considered by designers, not as the only architectural style, suitable for buildings for various purposes. So, for example, the home of a shoemaker look like an antique house with a peristyle. Similarly, in the expert’s opinion, a laundry shed shouldn’t imitate the classical buildings with porticos such as the Ancient Greek or Roman temples. Accordingly, the appearance of the Russian Orthodox Temple should resemble the old Russian temples of our ancestors. The studies of the architectural monuments of the Old Russia had been initiated at that time. On the initiative of A.N.Olenin, brothers Efimov were being carried out measurements of the Ancient Russian architectural monuments in Moscow, Kiev, and Vladimir. Another initiative of A.N.Olenin  was to organize the expedition, led by K.M. Borozdin, with the same purpose. Very often artists and architects were inspired by the images of ancient monuments in the landscapes of such Russian artists as F.A.Alexeev, M.N.Vorobiov, A.E.Martynov as well as the sketches of Giacomo Quarenghi. The great enthusiasm that played an important part in the victory over Napoleon in the Patriotic War of the year 1812 led to the great interest in the history of Ancient Russia. The image of the ideal temple, which would resemble with an Ancient Russian church, was needed to express the idea of patriotism. For this purpose, in the year of 1835, Konstantin Thon met with  S.D.Nechaev, who was the attorney-general the Synod at that time. Following the recommendation of A.N.Olenin, S.D.Nechaev suggested the architect collect the images of the examples of the churches for the atlas to be published in the future.

The first issue of this atlas included the designs of the churches created by Konstantin Ton between the years of 1830-1834. The second issue of this atlas was published in 1844. This issue was the extended edition of the first album: the examples of some pillar-free temples were added to the designs of the churches mentioned above. Nevertheless, the emerging Russian architectural science was guided by the concept of borrowing, according to which, the Russian architecture, was considered as a conglomeration drawn from other architectural techniques and forms. For example, the style of ancient Russian monuments, as though, was divided into several styles. Besides the Russian style, other styles, which were in the architecture those days, were also existed.

To solve problems emerging in the process of designing buildings and churches, Konstantin Thon, elaborated his creative approach. Even though he had the extensive knowledge of ancient Russian monuments, he did not copy them blindly. The temples created by Konstantin Thon can be reduced to several types such as a cross-domed Greek temple, pillar-free temple, and the church combines with the narthex and belfry. At the same time, Ton makes his start from «not a particular image and form of a temple, but from its type, which was created by ancient masters. He changes the ratio of his layouts for churches.» Contrary to the ancient temples, which layouts were usually extended to the East-West direction, his newest temples had the form of a square.

Using all his knowledge and practical experience as an architect and design engineer, he carried out the constructive tasks when building temples in his way, creating the comfortable environment for people attending church services and saving some necessary construction materials. Looking for the ways of expanding the internal space of the temple, Konstantin Thon found the solution to this problem. He achieved this goal at the cost of walls and pylons, which thickness was reduced and, therefore, extra space was found. Inside of his churches, Konstantin Ton set up the air-heating system, creating thus an additional comfort for the parishioners.

As for the decoration of facades, the architect created many details, drawing his inspiration from the old Russian architectural monuments. Such elements of the Ancient Russian architecture as small and corbel arches (also known as kokoshniks), stone-belts and blades, were borrowed from the old churches of Russia. However, centric layouts, the large divisions of facades, the contrasts of great volumes — all this shows the significant influence of classicism in Russian architecture in those days.

«Russian style, — writes I.Sviazev, the colleague of Konstantin Thone and the person who shared Ton’s opinions of architecture, — is capable of its further improvement and development. Like the style in literature, it has the same relations to the old art, like the poem about Prince Igor, which was also written by Pushkin in Russian, but in which manner?»

In such a Russian style was built the St.Catherine Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo. Its project was created in 1831. The church was consecrated in the year of 1840. Before the construction of this temple, the main temple in Tsarskoye Selo was a small Znamenskaya Church, which was built in the 1740s, situated next to the Catherine Palace and the Imperial Lyceum.The shopping and business center of Tsarskoye Selo was formed Just near this church. The significance of the town of Tsarskoye Selo as the imperial residence had increased over the years. The city had been expanding, and Its population had been growing. As far back as at the beginning of the 19th century, the defensive ramparts, which had been built at the margins of the town, were removed and replaced by Moscow Street.

The little church in honor of Our Lady (Znamenskaya) was too small to meet the needs of the town’s residents. Therefore, Emperor Nicolas, I made the paramount decision to build a larger Cathedral whose capacity would be 2000 people, the construction of which was financed from the Tzar’s treasury.

The main feature of Konstantin Thon’s churches, which should be singled out, was that the architect could perfectly fit his temples into the surrounding landscape and urban environment. The place for St. Catherine Cathedral was chosen on a hill in the town center. Importantly, the height of the church allowed to perceive it not only from a close distance. The St.Catherine Cathedral was perfectly visible from every corner of the town, and from the local railway station. It was important because this station was located on the first Russian railroad, which also was built on Konstantin Thon’s design.

Looking very similarly to other churches designed by Ton such as the Church of St.Catherine on the Kalinkin Bridge in St.Petersburg, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Peterhof, this temple didn’t seem to be enormous and massive. Five-domed temple with the centric layout, about which we can judge only from photographs, drawings, the memories of contemporaries, looked very easy and elegantly. The composition of its facades was not overloaded with the decor.  The smooth surface of its walls looked like it was cut with the high narrow windows whose round edges repeated the silhouettes of its arched gables. The large arched decor accentuated the surfaces of the cupolas’ tholobates making it look much easier and expressive. The entrances to the temple were marked by the deep perspective portals with the semicircular edges. Besides the main altar, there were the two side chapels inside the church, which appeared in 1852:  the Chapel of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky on the right side of the temple and the Chapel of Constantine and Elena, the Saints Equal to Apostles. The linear drawing of the iconostasis created by Konstantin Thon has survived to the present day. It was about 2.13 meters in height. Symmetry, lightness, harmony of proportions, elegant lines — all this makes it very close to the best traditions of classical art.

At that time, the multi-level iconostasis of St.Catherine Cathedral was guilded. The icons located on the first level were covered with the gilded rizas, which were made of the money raised from people’s donations.

In the sacristy of the Cathedral were stored the cross with the relics St.Feodor Tiron and Barbara Great Martyr.  Many other precious, sacred things such as the icon with a particle of the relics of Abraham, the Arch with a particle of the relics of St.George, the Great Marty and the robe of Virgin, silver chalice with the paten, the cross, and the Gospel were also stored in the Cathedral. All these artifacts were the gifts from Empress Catherine II to the St.Sophia Cathedral, given in the year of 1783. In addition to these sacred things, the «Crucifixion» painted by  A.Van Dyck and «The Glory of Mother of God,» created by Paolo Veronese, draw attention to themselves.

Originally, the Cathedral was painted inside in bright colors. However, during the restoration process, carried out by the architect S.A.Danini, when the gliding of domes, which had been severely suffered during the fire of the old wooden Gostiny Dvor, had been resumed, the Cathedral had been repainted in dark colors.

In the town of Tsarskoye Selo, where the features of the lifestyle of a peaceful country town and the lifestyle of the brilliant capital city were blended, the St.Cateherine’s Cathedral held a special place among the churches belonging to the Palace and Military Departments that had been prevailing by the time of its construction.        It is known that Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, was baptized in this cathedral in 1912. Another well-known person, Yakov Vasilievich Zakharzhevsky, who was the General Manager of the town of Tsarskoye Selo, was buried here.

After the year of 1917, the history of the Cathedral turned into drama and logically was going to its tragic end. This chapter in the Cathedral history had started with the death of the first new martyr and Petrograd Eparchy Archpriest Ioann Kochurov, who devoted his life to pastoral and missionary activity. He was loved and respected by his flock and highly appreciated by Tikhon, the prelate of the church and the first Patriarch of all Russia after the restoration of the Patriarchate in 1917.

A few days after the October Revolution, on October 13, 1917, the detachments of armed Red Guards, sailors and soldiers moved to Tsarskoye Selo. The residents of the town were in a panic. Many people flocked to the Orthodox churches, to find some solace. The St.Catherine Cathedral was overcrowded. After a special prayer on the cessation of the intestine warfare, Archpriest N.I.Smirnov, together with the other priests of the Cathedral, Father Ioann Kochurov and father Stephen Fokko performed the procession around the temple.

Encountering no resistance, the Bolsheviks entered Tsarskoye Selo on October, 31, in the morning. The round of the apartments and following arrests of the officers had started. Priest Ioann Kochurov was arrested, taken to the outskirts of the town to the Feodorovsky Cathedral, and there he was shot dead, allegedly, because he prayed for the victory of Cossacks.

Subsequently, Father Ioann was buried in the Catherine Cathedral, and his death caused the claim of the St.Petersburg’s Diocesan Council to the Parish Councils of the St.Petersburg Eparchy about financial assistance to the family of Father Ioann Kochurov and other families of those killed for the faith. In the year 1994, Father Ioann Kochurov was officially recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church as a newcomer martyr.

And then the fate of the St.Catherine Cathedral, as the fate of many temples in the Soviet period of rebellion against God, was sealed. On June 1, 1938, the Pushkin District Council sent the petition to the Leningrad city council for closure and demolition of the Cathedral, substantiating their decision by the opinion that the Cathedral as a building «doesn’t constitute cultural value.» The petition had been approved. Due to the Decree of the Leningrad Oblast General Executive Committee 1938, July, 1 St.Catherine Cathedral was closed, and then it was blown up in June 1939.

In the evidence of an eyewitness, on June 5, 1939, at the White night: «Suddenly a deafening explosion resounded. The Cathedral flew up, raised itself above the ground like an epical hero, rose from his place, carrying along the cloud of dust, and suddenly fell flat, as moved down to earth.» It was the second temple created by Konstantin Ton, the temple which was subject to the cruel act of vandalism. As a result of an inherently evil political action. In this case, it is interesting to note the fact that art critics and experts were trying to corroborate this cruel act of vandalism by giving their expert opinions of the necessity of these actions. The easiest way to explain this need was to state the opinion that the buildings designed by Thon do not belong to the masterpieces of Russian architecture, but only embody the idea of loyalty to autocracy.These concepts supported the idea of the famous triad of the time, namely «autocracy, Orthodoxy, and Nationality» — the principles to which was stuck the Russian czar, Nicolas II. Even the attitude of the Ton’s contemporaries to his creativity was ambiguous, even unfair. V.V.Stasov called Constantin Ton «a rough and uneducated bricklayer,» and A.I. Hertzen characterized the Byzantine style of Ton as «wild.» At the same time, Ton was highly appreciated by his colleagues at the Academy of Arts for his exceptional professionalism. It is precisely this fact that when being as a Rector of the architectural department, Konstantin Ton paid particular attention to the teaching of engineering subjects. He believed that the architectural design should not be confined only to the painting of the facades. The students of the Academy of Art, who were prepared for the career in architecture had practical training experience at the construction area of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The merits of the architect were highly valued by his colleagues from abroad. He was a member and a corresponding member of some Italian academies, as well as an honorary member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. However, the first point of view on the Ton’s creativity was determinative in the period of 1830-1860s. Only since the 1980s, the creative works of Ton and this time in the history of Russian architecture were objectively assessed.   In the evidence of an eyewitness, on June 5, 1939, at the White night: «Suddenly a deafening explosion resounded. The Cathedral flew up, raised itself above the ground like an epical hero, rose from his place, carrying along the cloud of dust, and suddenly fell flat, as moved down to earth.» It was the second temple created by Konstantin Ton, the temple which was subject to the cruel act of vandalism. As a result of an inherently evil political action. In this case, it is interesting to note the fact that art critics and experts were trying to corroborate this cruel act of vandalism by giving their expert opinions of the necessity of these actions. The easiest way to explain this need was to state the opinion that the buildings designed by Thon do not belong to the masterpieces of Russian architecture, but only embody the idea of loyalty to autocracy.These concepts supported the idea of the famous triad of the time, namely «autocracy, Orthodoxy, and Nationality» — the principles to which was stuck the Russian czar, Nicolas II. Even the attitude of the Ton’s contemporaries to his creativity was ambiguous, even unfair. V.V.Stasov called Constantin Ton «a rough and uneducated bricklayer,» and A.I. Hertzen characterized the Byzantine style of Ton as «wild.» At the same time, Ton was highly appreciated by his colleagues at the Academy of Arts for his exceptional professionalism. It is precisely this fact that when being as a Rector of the architectural department, Konstantin Ton paid particular attention to the teaching of engineering subjects. He believed that the architectural design should not be confined only to the painting of the facades. The students of the Academy of Art, who were prepared for the career in architecture had practical training experience at the construction area of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The merits of the architect were highly valued by his colleagues from abroad. He was a member and a corresponding member of some Italian academies, as well as an honorary member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. However, the first point of view on the Ton’s creativity was determinative in the period of 1830-1860s. Only since the 1980s, the creative works of Ton and this time in the history of Russian architecture were objectively assessed.

And nowadays, about the archaeological excavations of the Temple of St.Catherine, we have to encounter the problems of real justice. It is the matter of justice to this creative work of the architect, disrespect to people, who did their utmost for the prosperity of their country and were buried in this temple, and, finally to many residents of the town of Tsarskoye Selo going to the Cathedral where they happy or when surviving their sorrows. It was decided by the Managing Committee of City’s Property, the Society for the Protection of Monuments to restore the Temple by the year 2010, the 300-anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo. The money for this project was supposed to raise by involving sponsors. On the excavated foundations, perfectly preserved since the construction of the Temple, it is planned to restore St.Catherine Cathedral by using the archival drawings, which were found in the Moscow archives to build a replica of the Ton’s church. Despite the fact that it will be a newly constructed building, possibly the temple and the area around it, will be the symbol of reviving human conscience, renewed faith, and national unity.


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The materials from the Internet:

15.http://www.pushkin-town.net/.pushkin/rus/nowhram.htm (последний вход -07.05.2010)


(the last log in 07.07.2010)

  1. http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Екатерининский_собор_(Пушкин) (the last login —



St. Petersburg Academy of Arts: the history of educational activity beyond the school curriculum. A brief research

Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Education — all these words can be read above every of the entrance doors in the main round-shaped courtyard of the Academy of Arts building. These words are seen as the motto of this educational institution, the oldest Russian Art Academy. Every year, tens of students, the future painters, graphic artists, architects, and art critics enter The I.E. Repin St.Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Being within the walls of the Institute, not only students have  the professional training and gain the necessary skills, but interact with their mentors, any of whom are outstanding figures in art and culture, persons of the world reputation. Thereby, the cultural and educational environment so beneficial for students has been created.

At the same time, the educational activity of the Academy of Arts in the past and the I.E. Repin Art Institute now has never confined itself to the school activity only. The importance of this fact can hardly be overestimated. A considerable amount of work in this area has been done since the foundation of the Academy, and nowadays this work is being done to support art-lovers in their desire to acquire basic knowledge and gain the necessary skills in arts.

These days, the educational activity in the I.E. Repin Art Institute is very versatile. Apart from the formal preparatory courses for the future applicants, who are willing to take courses to prepare for the entrance exams, there are other courses such as the Evening Drawing Classes and the Faculty of Professional Development for the teachers of art schools and colleges. These departments of the Academy follow the long-lasting historical tradition which dates back to the 19th century.     As far back as in the years of 1835-1841, Pavel Andreevich Fedotov, an outstanding Russian artist attended the Academical evening drawing classes. He had the ticket number 241, which gave him the right to participate in these training sessions.  Admittedly, P.A. Fedotov didn’t become a professional artist within the days. Serving as a Beefeater at the Finnish Regiment, he drew just for his delight and very often doing a favour for his friends when they asked him to draw the caricatures of their brother officers. He made the crucial decision to be into art when, as he thought, he wasn’t very young, at the age of 26. He couldn’t resign from the military service immediately due to financial reasons; that’s why he attended the Academy’s Evening Drawing Classes in his spare time. Pavel Fedotov used any opportunity to acquire skills during the classes as well as while painting and drawing from life.

Another reason to attend the classes regularly was the proximity to the Academy from the Finnish regiment’s military quarters, which also were located on Vasilievsky Island. Therefore, it was very convenient for Fedotov to set aside the time for art studies. It is also known that Pavel Fedotov was assigned directly to the second form after the entrance exams: students of this year must copy exceptional drawings of famous artists. However,  Pavel Fedotov attended academic classes occasionally, when, in his opinion, it wasnecessary.

The exact meaning of these words, the courses weren’t a professional educational institution; Students needn’t to follow a particular schedule; attendance of the classes was the matter of their choice. Most of the audience consisted of amateurs. Servicemen, merchants, in other words, people of a great variety of ranks and social positions came there. At the beginning of 1830-s Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol also attended these classes.

The close collaboration between the Society of the  Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (which was also called The Society of the Encouragenent of the Artisits until 1875) and the Academy played an important part in the history of the Academy’s educational extra-curricular activity. Later the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts became to be called as the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. In 1820, three private individuals P.A. Kikin, the secretary of state, Prince I.A. Gagarin, and lieutenant-colonel A. I. Dmitriev-Mamonov founded the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. Then two more art-lovers V. I. Keel and F. F. Shubert joined to them. Those five people signed on November 30, 1821, the initial «Basic Rules for the Guidance and Activity of the Society.» The aim of the Society was the popularization of artworks by organizing permanent exhibitions, art lotteries and the commissions on artworks.


The 1820-30-s were the years when the Academy experienced significant financial difficulties that affected its educational activity. A.I.Olenin was the President of the Academy of Arts at that time. Many investments were made in the construction of the new buildings, reconstructions of the old facilities and improving living and studying conditions of the students. Therefore, there weren’t extra funds for the incentive payments for the successful students. The Society for the Encouragement of the Arts organized in addition to the Academy medals, three medals for distinguished students: 1 medal of the first rate and two medals of the second. In 1821 Karl and Alexander Brullov were awarded and sent overseas for the additional vocational training. In 1827 Alexander Ivanov, and in 1830 N.G.Tchernestov and A.V. Tyranov were also sent abroad. The Society also allocated means for the trips across Russia. The Society of the Arts Promotion also paid for the tuition of those young artists who took classes from some of the famous artists. N.G. Tchernestov learned from Vorobiov, N.S. Krylov learned from Venetsianov, A.N. Mokritsky, and T. G. Shevchenko studied at the Karl Brullov’s studio.

In 1824, the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts organized a special class where attendants could paint and draw from live models. Everyone could attend this class, even though they were not allowed to do this at the Academy. The Society paid significant sums of money (about 1500 roubles a year) for the attendance tickets for art lovers making them possible to attend the Academy’s painting and drawing classes.

The new stage of the educational extra curriculum activity of the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts had started since the second third of the 19th century. The new drawing school, founded on E.F.Kankrin’s initiative, had appeared in 1839. Children from a lower class could enter that school. It was a purely technical school, which was patronized by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. Later, in 1857, this school was taken over by the Society. After the closure of the lower classes of the Arts Academy in 1959, many of former students of the Academy continued to study at that school. Instead of the two classes of drawing as well as the classes of sculpture and design, five classes of general drawing and ten special classes were set up. 1000 students attended that school where 15 teachers worked. It was a single school, which students were prepared for the entrance exams to the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Later on, the branches of that school were opened in St.Petersburg’s suburbs (on the Peterhof and Shlisselburg roads) In 1870 the Museum of Art and Industry was inaugurated in the school premises, and since 1861the Friday Drawing Classes started functioning. The new curriculum was created in 1868. There were two departments at that school: the department of general drawing and arts and crafts department. The programs of the Drawing Department consisted of the following levels:


  1. The drawing of the 3-D objects and shading
  2. The drawing of the ornaments of different styles from the plaster casts
  3. The drawing of the parts of the human body and plaster masks
  4. Pencil drawing from the plaster cast busts and plaster casts full height sculptures
  5. Sunday class. The pencil drawing of the live model.
  6. Watercolour copying from the classic originals.
  7. Watercolour painting of the real objects.
  8. Arts and Crafts Department The acquaintance with the trades and technical skills of each handicraft.
  9. Draftsmanship
  10. The Composition of the Ornaments
  11. Sculpting the simple ornaments from clay.

44.Woodcut from the plaster casts, wooden models, and drawings

  1. Woodcut and lithography.
  2. Painting on porcelain, highly glazed pottery, glass and copper enamel.

There were a museum and library at school.

I.E.Repin tells us about his school studies in his Memoirs and Reflections.

 At that time the School was located in the building of the Stock Exchange, near the Palace Bridge. The tuition fee, which was about 3 roubles per year, was quite affordable for the students. The first work for which I.E. Repin received the highest grade, number 1, was his drawing of the burdock leaf from the plaster cast.

At that time, many great tutors, such as a P.I: Zerm and R.K. Zhukovskii taught at school. Nevertheless, the leading figure was I.N. Kramskoy, who won full trust and respect of the students. He used to come to the students only on Sundays, so it was tough to take the most advantageous position to paint live models during Kramskoy’s training sessions. Shortly, I.E. Repin realized that he got everything possible from the School of the Arts Promotion Society, and he was advised to attend the lectures and training sessions at the St.Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts as an auditor. To achieve this goal Repin needed to arrange to be let in with the Academy’s inspector. He also needed to pass the exam on drawing the plaster cast head and pay a quite significant for those days fee — 25 roubles per year. He doesn’t have such a sum; that’s why, following the advice of his acquaintances, Repin found the patron, who paid for his tuition.

The second area of the Academy’s extracurricular activity in the second half of the 19th century was teaching the future gymnasium and elementary drawing school teachers. It was vital for the period of the development of capitalism in Russia. During the first century of its existence, the Academy had been solved such global problems as arts education and guidance of painters, sculptors, and architects, who were capable of performing high state orders and promote fundamental state ideas. Not only in Russia, but in other European countries, where the fast pace of the industrial development led to the necessity in highly qualified specialists, it was the need of the people engaged in craftsmanship and who have artistic skills. All in all, it was vital to have the people who could, draw, design and decorate the things of everyday use and improve the appearance of this stuff. For this purpose, it was not necessary to have the higher artistic education. For the first time, it was necessary to arrange the educational process in gymnasiums, colleges, and elementary art schools, to meet the demands of the modern society. Although the students in the Academy were trained by the highly qualified specialists: painters, sculptors, and architects, however, students weren’t taught the teaching methods. The Academy’s Sunday Drawing classes were set up in 1872 to work out this methodology and give the examples of teaching the subjects related to art.  The senior students of the Academy were engaged to lead the training sessions for the future drawing teachers.  For the Academy of Fine Arts, it was the innovation.

Later, those classes were closed, and The Pedagogical Courses for the Preparation of Drawing Teachers were set up in 1879 under the aegis of Grand Prince Vladimir Alexandrovich. The primary purpose of these courses was stated by V.P.Shemiot and V.F.Evald (the director of the St.Petersburg 1st Technical College) in the Report on Founding Pedagogical Courses under the protection of the Imperial Academy of Arts. In their opinion, to raise the social status of the drawing teacher it is necessary to apply to  the authorities  to help the people who are honoured to be the teachers due to the new regulations in the educational institutions where they are to work, giving them the same rights as to other teachers who teach other school subjects and award them with the same cash and pension. Similarly, the same rights for a pension should have the teachers at the Academy of Art’s normal school. The traditional school, attached to those courses, was also found to give the illustrative example of the correct and rational drawing as a general subject included in the school curriculum. All in all, the aim of these courses was «the creation of the nurseries of ideal teachers.»

The normal school, which was attached to the courses was founded to bring the teaching methods given in these classes to real life. The program of these courses was planned for two years. In the first year, the attendees gained the theoretical knowledge, attending the lessons of the experienced teachers and making their learning guides and albums for students. The second year was devoted to practical training sessions and the writing analysis of the lessons which were given by the students of the courses at the normal school. At the time the sessions started working, there weren’t any restriction to the number of the attendees. About 50 people a year were admitted to the courses. Later on, the enrolment tests were introduced. Only those students of the Academy of the  Arts who studied in the class of the Live Models Painting and drawing could attend these courses. It was not like a few years ago when the first-year students of the Plaster Cast classes, were also permitted for attending the courses. In 1887-1888 the lessons on calligraphy were added to the school curriculum.

The curriculum in the normal school attached to the courses was planned for the four-year period. The children aged between 10 and 14 were admitted to the first form, in the second form the students of 11-15 years old were taught, and the third form was attended by the students between 12 and 16 years old. The certificate of education was required for the application to the school.

«School must restrain the student individuality within the defined bounds with the purpose of getting them accustomed to self-restriction, thereby giving them reasonable and purposefully the possibility to apply their will when they are involved in their independent activity in any area, not the arts only,»- in this way the founders of the school understood the primary goals of this educational institution.

At that time, the professors of The Academy of Arts tried to demonstrate and give the proofs of the leading role of drawing in the contemporary life to the society. Their activity was aimed to educate people and get this message across. So, in the report of A.V.Makovsky, the academician of painting, which was addressed to the 4-the International Congress on the Drawing and Applied Arts and Crafts, Education, it was said: «To study somebody how to see the world around us — is a very challenging task. In the case when our capability to understand is well-developed, everything around us  easier comes to our mind and more clearly understood. The teacher of drawing is — the closest assistant of the university professor.» «It will be simpler to make new ways if the government takes care of the all-round development of our country’s industry to make drawing  turned from comprehensive into the genre of art which is applicable to real life.» On the other hand, the presenter focused on the creative approach to the drawing education. «We don’t need to give only skills, but knowledge to the students,» — it was said in the report. The teaching methodology, which was used in some of the German schools was given as a negative example.

So vital were considered the goals which were set by the Academy’s courses that the special commission consisting of such outstanding artists as A. I. Rezanov, A. I. Somov, D. I. Grimm, V.P.Vereschagin, and V.I.Jakobi were founded. These courses had been functioning until the October Revolution of 1917.

The Revolution of 1917 and all related events made a tremendous impact on all areas of the Academy’s activity, including education and extra-curriculum activity. During more than 30-year period, until the beginning of the 1930s, the Academy had changed three times its official name, and that fact, in V.G.Lisovsky’s opinion «wasn’t  considered as the formality only», it was for «the instability of educational system at that time, uncertainty of its goals and ambiguity of its status.» This devastating for the academic system period of the dramatic search for the right methods in arts and teaching, finished in 1932 when due to the order of the Government of the Russian Socialist Federative Republic issued on October 11, 1932, was founded the All-Russian Academy of Arts.

The documents, coming from the period of the beginning and the middle of the 1930s, tell us about the work of the courses, which were functioning that time in the Leningrad Highest Artistic and Technical Institute and the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Architecture, and Sculpture.

One of these documents is «The Instruction on the Preparatory Courses for Workers in the Leningrad which is related to April 1930. In this Instruction, it is told about the entrance regulations, terms of study and the budget of the courses. The primary purpose of these sessions was the preparation of the young people from the working class for the entrance exams to the All-Union Institute of Art and Technology. The apprenticeship at these courses was one year, during which the applicants studied particular subjects as well as made up the deficiency in general knowledge. Although the established learning was one year, in fact, the length of study varied for different students, depending on their fundamental skills and knowledge. Some of the students studied at the Courses for more than two years. Those students who finished Courses admitted to the Institute without the entrance exams. The young people from the age 25 who had 5-year of the working service, at least, and the volume of knowledge which was equal to the experience of a graduate of a five-year comprehensive school were admitted to this school.  In addition to this, the young people of the age less than 25 who had only three years of the working service, but with the volume of knowledge of a 7-year comprehensive school was also admitted. The work day at the enterprise where the attendees of the courses worked was two hours less than the work hours of the rest of the workers. For the attendees of the Courses, the classes and training sessions were free. The Courses were financed by the trade unions. By 1937, these courses were called off.

As it is known from the archival documents, summer short-term courses worked in the Academy in summer 1937. The mailing report on the organizational work of these courses has come to our day.

These courses for the teachers of art colleges and schools were founded for the learning of the advanced teaching methodology. During the almost two months (since June, 20 to August, 4) 50 teachers from the different cities of our country, did the tasks on various subjects, such as painting and drawing, attending the lectures of the Institute mentors and also visiting different Leningrad museums and listening to the excursions on different topics.

Apart from the courses, there was the faculty for preparing the working class young people for the future study at the Institute (RABFAC). As well as the courses, this department solved the similar problem: to prepare the young people for the working class for the education at the Institute. In these courses the classes on professional training were organized, in addition to these classes, the students enrich their knowledge of general subjects to meet the requirements of the comprehensive school. For the young people of different ages the 3-5 year labour experience was required. The training period in the day and evening departments lasted for four years. To be admitted to the Faculty for the Working Class Young People (RABFAC) the applicants should pass the entrance exams. For the full-time education, there was the exam on testing the knowledge of the volume of the 5-year comprehensive school. To be admitted to the evening courses the students were required to pass the exam on general subjects according to the requirements of the 6-year comprehensive school and also the exams on painting and drawing.

 The Great Patriotic War disrupted the flow of the studying process. Many students went to the battlefront, most of them were not destined to come back. Nevertheless, the students and professors honourably got through, and the new page of the history of the Academy’s educational extra-curriculum activity was turned over. In 1944, after the evacuation, the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture returned home. That year, the Institute was awarded to be named in honour of I. E. Repin, and the All-Russian Academy of Art was reorganized as the Academy of Arts of the USSR.

In 1959 on the initiative of M.G.Manizer, a prominent Soviet sculptor, the evening drawing classes were opened anew. This event becomes a milestone in the history of the Academy of Art and national art in general. The tradition, which comes from the 19th century, when the society had the need in art education, was continuing. The progressive-minded intellectuals had a desire to help people’s artists to raise their professional skills to the proficiency level. Admittedly, after the Great Patriotic War, many art workshops and studios appeared in the different palaces of culture as well as at the various enterprises where art classes were organized. However, the Evening Drawing Classes at the I.E. Repin Art Institute were unique.

Not only were these classes unique because they aimed at the broad audience, and anyone who has the artistic capabilities was able to attend these classes, but for their unique program. This program, which was similar to the curriculum of the Repin Art Institute, helped the attendees to gain the knowledge of the basics of the classical drawing. Many people at that time expressed the desire to be taught in these classes. By the year of 1979 300 people attended these classes. It was a small number in comparison to the number of the students, who attended the Society of Arts Promotion School at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time it was 1772 students. Despite that, the Academy of Arts and the Repin Art Institute were trying to solve the problems with finding the premises for the classes to satisfy the needs of people who wanted to learn more about art or improve their artistic skills. After the looking for such facilities, the solution was found. It was the apartments in the Liteiny Yard, whose residents were given new accommodation by the city’s authorities

The Evening Drawing Classes curriculum is planned for the four-year period. The Classes curriculum includes: 1st year — the drawing from the plaster cast classical ornament, 2d year- the drawing of the old plaster cast portrait sculpture. 3d year — the portrait from a live model. 4th year — the drawing of a nude model. During these four years, the typical dropout of the students takes place. After finishing the studying course, the students are given a diploma.

 Since the beginning of the 1970s, the educational extra-curriculum activity of the Academy of Arts and the I.E. Repin Art Institute has achieved a new level. In 1972, according to the order of The Ministry of Culture of the USSR from June, 19, the Faculty of Development of Vocational Competence was organized by the Repin Art Institute, for the purpose of the vocational training of the teachers from the different regions of our country.  The faculty aims to educate the specialists who have at least five years of working service after receiving their necessary diploma. Besides the tasks of painting, drawing, and composition and writing research works for the art critics and historians, there were given the lectures on philosophy, aesthetics, and the teaching methods. The students of this faculty visited museums and participated in conferences and seminars. The educational period lasted for a year. During this time 40 experts from the different corners of the USSR improved their vocational skills.

It is worth mentioning the term of the 1980s-90s, which is called the post-perestroika period. Those years not only the I.E.Repin Art Institute but many educational and research institutions experienced the significant difficulties related to finances and structural changes. These years are considered as the turning point in the history of our country. Our life has significantly changed.The Academy and Institute got over with the most difficult situations. Nowadays, the Faculty of the Advanced Vocational Training as well as Drawing classes, where the best professors of the Institute are working, is working very productively. In addition to this, the number of potential students who has the desire to gain knowledge of art is growing every year. Even on the Internet, we can find very enthusiastic comments about the Drawing Classes where almost everyone who has the necessary knowledge in the drawing can apply for tuition and be taught by the experienced teachers for a very reasonable price. In this way, any person who teaches art can improve their level attending the classes at the Faculty of the Professional Development. The continuity of traditions is the primary foundation of the Repin Art Institute and its core rule. Nevertheless, there is greater room for our improvement. The administration of the Academy of Arts and the professors of the I.E. Repin Art Institute is not going to be complacent. Nowadays the new teaching methods based on the great traditions of national and world art, are being elaborated. Particular attention is paid to the individual approach to the Academy students, applicants and the attendees of the courses. These principles are the core of our educational system which gives a support to the talented people, who will probably be  the outstanding artists in the future.


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    8. Четвертый международный конгресс в Дрездене по вопросам обучения рисованию и прикладному искусству. Доклад преподавателя-руководителя педагогических курсов при Императорской Академии художеств академика А.В.Маковского., СПб, 1912.
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    11. Краткий исторический очерк императорского общества поощрения художеств. 1820-1890 гг. Составил секретарь общества Н.Собко. СПб, 1890
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My short memoirs about A. L. Korolev




Many outstanding painters, sculptors, architects, and art historians have studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art, which walls witnessed many personal histories. It’s worth remembering for the rest of your life. The atmosphere of the Academy evokes such recollections. It often happens when I immerse in the recollections of those people who is not alive, walking along the long Academy’s  corridors with arched ceilings: at the moment when I start looking at the photos of the Academy’s professors, which are placed on the walls. When I walk to my workplace, listening to the resonating sounds of my steps, I come to realize all significance of these personalities, the people, who leave a mark in the history of our Alma Mater. Many generations of the graduates are grateful to these people for the knowledge they passed on.

Alexander Leonidovich Korolev, my tutor and the professor of drawing, is one of them. When I was a student, he worked in the Andrei Andreevich Mylnikov’s studio as a teacher of drawing. His lessons, as well as the teachings of Andrei Andrei Andreevich, have become for me, invaluable assets, which I use throughout my conscious life as an artist.

I got to know about Alexander Leonidovich in 1979. At that time, we were very young and enthusiastic people, who set ambitious goals, being eager to overcome all difficulties and enter the Repin Art Institute which has always been called the Academy of Arts. Then many young people come to the Academy from everywhere, from all corners of our country which had vast territories those years, including the lands of all the former republics of the Soviet Union. For some of them, it was the first time experience when they have to prepare for dealing with the tough entrance examinations, while others had already had the negative experience of the failure. That’s why we decided to go all lengths to organize the preparation process.

At that time, it was quite a complicated problem, because there weren’t any official preparatory courses. Viacheslav Danilov was the person who propelled the idea of organizing such courses; we totally relied on him. He had been living in Leningrad for a few years, so he had some experience and organizational skills. As a graphic designer, he worked in one of the offices and was provided by his organization with a room where he lived. By using good connections among the administration of his office, he reached an agreement, according to which we could rent a few rooms in the building waiting for the repairing work and whose residents had been provided with the new accommodation. It might be for the Soviet mismanagement or the unjustified extravagance that the city authorities preferred to turn a blind eye to the facts like this. Nevertheless, we were lucky to have a place for our studies. All necessary facilities were functioning: water supply, electricity, engineering and heating system. The latter was precisely the facility we needed the most. If we have heating system functioning, it is the guarantee that the models who posed and to whom we have to pay wouldn’t quit their job. On the contrary, they felt quite comfortable. Later we decided to invite more attendees for the financial reasons.

To find out the potential students for the newly-founded courses, Slava Danilov mentioned above, got permission from V. I. Statsenko, the executive secretary of the Repin Art Institute Acceptance board to be present at his meetings with people who were about to decide whether or not to apply for the entrance exams. Those, young people, showed Vladimir Ivanovich their homework, asking him for advice, hadn’t been the applicants, though. For some people, in his opinion, it would be better to submit their homemade artworks to the acceptance board and wait for the official permission to take the entrance exams. For others, the best option would be not to apply for the Academy exams. There were quite a few people, talented and suitable for this educational institution, but they weren’t trained enough to pass the entrance exams that year, and therefore, those people were invited to attend our courses.

After all, we got through everything: we found the premises and agreed with the models. And finally, we had to find a teacher. Undoubtedly, it was Vladimir Ivanovich Statsenko, who became our mentor; now it is working in our Institute as an associate professor.

Thanks to Vladimir Ivanovich, the newly opened classes drew attention of many potential hopefuls very soon. We had many talks about art, as well as on how the real artist should think about their creativity and everyday life. From him, I got to know about Alexandr Leonidovich Korolev. Vladimir Ivanovich was a sage person: he had never interfered in the work of his student and always tried to make the students find a solution to their problem by themselves. It often happens in real life: if you want to persuade your partner to do something do it in such a way as convincing them that it is their idea, not yours; and not in a preaching or humiliating manner.

In that way, we were taught drawing. Vladimir Ivanovich tried to give us the material in the most convincing way, explaining by his words, supporting his explanations by schemes, which were drawn aside, in the margins of our drawings. He told later that Korolev’s method was the most preferable teaching method for him.

The next acquaintance, yet distant with Alexander Leonidovich Korolev and his method was made when I was the student of the Repin Art Institute, studying at the B.M.Lavrenko’s and G.I.Manasherov’s studios.

Between my current classes, I dropped in the A. A. Mylnikyv’s studio to see how the senior students were working on their tasks. What I liked the most was visiting the midterm exhibitions and learning from the works of senior students. I found out many useful things to take into account and use them later in my drawings and paintings.

Finally, for me as well as for my other classmates, it became the time to choose the studio and the professor to work with for the three years of studying as a senior student. It goes without saying; I submitted my application to  Andrei Andreevich Mylnikov’s studio. I couldn’t help but was very excited when I found  that I was accepted. I was making plans for the subsequent years of my studying. In such a positive mood, I started my third-year study.

Everything was unusual for me from the beginning. Instead of small rooms, where we had had our classes, I got to a spacious studio. We worked along with the four-year students. We could see their work process and learn from their experience.

There were three models in our studio, whose figures were represented the different types of male body. The eldest model was Uncle Sasha (as we called him), a retired man, very lean, not tall — he might be in his mid-seventies. Using his figure as an example was very convenient for studying the structure of the different parts of the human body. Another model was Alexey Grobov, whose slenderness and well-proportioned body reminded me of the ideal forms of the Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. And finally, Kostia, the former sailor, the man of average height, stocky, with impressive muscles and well-trained body, who reminded to a certain extent, the heroes of Michelangelo’s masterpieces.

Then I chose Alexey as a model to draw. What I would like to express is the flexibility of his body. I still remember our first class on drawing. It was an ordinary session, but Alexander Leonidovich, as it seemed to me, came out of the blue. It was not a very tall man, who was dressed in a suit which was as neat as a new pin. His well-trimmed hair were grizzled. His face with a radiant smile as well as his eyes looking at us attracted me. Quickly overlooking our group, he swiftly approached us. The work had started, it was his work.

Alexander Leonidovich didn’t pass over any of the students. He had stopped near everyone, starting his meticulous analysis of each student’s work, giving some tips. It took about 10-15 minutes for each student. At that moment, his cheerfulness had gone, and he became very focused. During that short time, he gave the student very detailed instructions describing the way  in which each work should be continued. Importantly, he drew the schemes left or right on the same sheet of paper,  near the student’s work. Finally, I was able to see that in reality.

Alexander Leonidovich said: «Observing a human body carefully, you need to recognize the position of its different parts when the weight of the standing model rests mainly on their one leg. To depict this position you need to  know about body’s vertical and horizontal axes and also about a horizontal plane, standing on which, the model touches by  the feet of their bearing and free legs.»

He was of the opinion that the proportions of the human body should be defined more precisely, during the process of drawing. However, he didn’t recommend using measuring tools: the only sense of proportions and the ability to compare the sizes of the different parts of the body, such as legs, hands, torso, etc., — is the method for an artist to follow.

It is necessary to recognize the longitudinal and cross segments of the body when defining the foreshortening, trunk bending, and different perspective. This stage of work requires a significant amount of attention: you need to grasp the position of the body in space, identifying its movement and posture. It is also important to understand how one part of the body followed by another. To depict very sophisticated forms of the human body, you need to draw a preliminary scheme, identifying body’s structure, and then you need to complicate this framework step by step.While drawing a model, it is advisable to keep the same position, looking at the figure from the initial point of view, however, you don’t need to stay in the same place. It is recommended to go round the model and look intently from different angles to understand better their shapes which you are going to depict.

You need to analyse regularly the anatomy of the human body: it helps to deal with such a problem as the copying of the model without understanding its structure and forms and gives the opportunity to realize the body shapes, expressing this in the art forms.

«At the beginning of the task, — said Alexander Leonidovich, — lines as contours or the auxiliary elements for building up forms in the drawing, are crucial as the means for creating the artwork. In his opinion, three-dimensionality should be expressed by using the methods continuous-tone drawing. Only by these methods and paying attention to the model’s proportions, character, and materiality can you depict correctly human body. You should not divide your work on your drawing into different stages separated from each other, such as building up, placing the figure in a particular position, identifying its proportions, modelling by tone, etc. All these stages are closely connected to each other and require your attention.

While Alexander Leonidovich insisted on the holistic approach to the artwork, he paid lots of attention to the integrity of lights and shadows, the changes of which need to be followed. As usual, these contrasts are more distinct near the source of light, and gradually become less evident when they are more distant from it. The contrasts are much lower on the objects which are located further from the eyes of an artist. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the line which exposes the structure of a form.

The drawing could be not very sophisticated, and the changing of its tones could also be very smooth. However, it is recommended to keep to the correct ratio of the tones: from the darkest to the lightest within the range of the tonality that you thought of.

The line should help you to define the boundaries of bones, muscles, and tendons. In this case, the line and tone in the drawing should complement each other, depicting the object of a human body.

When working on the picture of the human body, you need to express the naturalness in its pose or movement, not being led by the model, who tends to change their position, misleading the artist. Korolev always said: «You need to remember that changing the position of a human body doesn’t mean that its proportions also change.»

«In due course. — Continued Alexander Leonidovich, — you acquire the necessary skills to work without a preliminary scheme, which helps you to draw the human body. You will have this scheme in your mind, but taking into account some ground rules: and you needn’t be immersed in the boring process of drawing a figure, which, admittedly, is necessary when you learn how to do this. You will have a more creative attitude, having a desire to analyse human figure, nevertheless.

In addition to the scheduled drawing sessions, I tried to set aside the hours to draw over time with the senior students. Alexander Leonidovich encouraged us to do extra work. As for me, being a third-year student, I often attended the drawing sessions with the five-year students, where more difficult tasks than we used to do were given to the attendees: according to the program, they must make a picture with two male figures.

I would like to admit that it was the group where there were many very talented students, who later became remarkable artists and teachers. Alexander Kirovich Bystrov is one of them. He currently is one of the leading professors in our Institute. I learned much from this group.

Alexander Leonidovich was a very versatile mentor. Apart from practical training, he was engaged in the academic and educational activity. His articles about the methods of drawing were published in the Institute’s scientific editions. He gave lectures. Luckily, I attended one of his lectures. It took place in 1986, in the premises of the Academic Drawing Classes, in the Liteiny Yard. Many people gathered there, being interested in absorbing the information. After a quite a short time, the drawings which were used for this lecture were exhibited in the office of the dean of the Faculty of Painting. All materials, which had gained and elaborated during his pedagogical career and laid the foundations of his theoretical research, were presented at that exhibition. For me, as well for many students, these materials were great value. It was Sergey Machehin, who was a student, from the group which were a year younger, and, in addition to this, a very skilful photographer: he took the photos from the exhibited schemes. Later, I made a special album with these pictures. This album was very helpful for me when I taught my students.

Drawing for Korolev was the area, where he was in his element: he was passionate about drawing. The primary goal of his pedagogical and academic activity, for Alexander Leonidovich, was the protection and increasing the traditions of the Russian classical school of drawing. Then he told us many times that the Russian school of drawing is one of the best.

He told us about his academic missions in different countries and various educational art institutions which he had visited. The material he gathered was used at that time for the preparation for a significant number of scientific conferences.

Alexander Leonidovich was astonished by the fact that in spite of his expectations in such countries as Italy and France, which by right are considered as the cradle of classical art, many realistic traditions in art teaching were lost. He was amused by one funny occurrence: one day, he attended the class in one of the Italian educational institutions. The students were drawing the sitting model, being turned back to this person! It might be more convenient for them. Not trusting their own eyes, the students, when necessary, turned to their model and made the measurements using special metal sticks! Only after that, they drew the lines and hatched the shadows,completely ignoring the live contact with the model they have to draw.There is one more story told us by Alexander Leonidovich, very touching and a little bit romantic. Walking along the Montmartre, Alexander Leonidovich looked very intently at the painting and drawings of the artists who was working there. One of them, a woman asked him if he wished to have his portrait drawn. Having agreed, Alexander Leonidovich made his counter-proposition draw the picture of her. Having been curious about who was this gentleman she didn’t know, she had no choice as to agree to pose for him. Nevertheless, in the end, she couldn’t find the right words to express her gratitude and the admiration of his talent. That day when the delegation of the Russians professors was about to drive off, she came to their coach to say good words to her new acquaintance and to see the artist whose pictures she began to like.

Alexander Leonidovich had always considered that event as the evidence of respect for our artistic traditions and he remembered that day for the rest of his life.

As I said before, he was passionate about art, being ready to talk about the masterpieces of the world art for hours. I remember his excitement when he was talking about what he had seen in Egypt. He was amazed how the Ancient Egyptian sculptors could manage with material and shape the forms: they feel even tiny nuances. It was for the artist’s skills to express the subtlety of the forms, which you are unable to see: you can feel these nuances only by your palm, touching the smooth polished surface.

His ideas and thoughts about art, very often expressed during his classes, in working order, or during our friendly talks after classes, were sincere, clearly stated and with a great deal of philosophical insight.

I still remember his story about visiting the Sistine Chapel in Rome and the famous Michelangelo’s murals. At that time, I idolized this genius of the Renaissance. I have the same feelings now. Alexander Leonidovich tried to get his impressions across. «You can’t believe, — he said. — When I took a close look at the sitting human figures in the fresco, I came to the conclusion that any person, whichever physical capabilities they have would never be able to stay in such a position. But it makes the idea of this artwork more convincing! As it becomes apparent, art is a delusion, but so compelling, and people are ready to be deluded. It goes without saying, Alexander Leonidovich loved the life and appreciated every its moment.

I remember one day when Andrei Andreevich Mylnikov, set two male models with a motorbike to be painted. He arranged these tasks perfectly, as usual. This very motorbike evoked Alexander Leonidovich’s memories. He remembered the first years after the WWII. That time the old captured motorcycle was brought to the Academy as a prop for models. Although this bike was used as a prop, it was in a full working condition.

Sometimes the students of Academy arranged motorbike races along the Academy’s corridors. Starting near the Dean’s office of the faculty of painting, bikers did their first turn near the Anatomy auditorium. Then the biker took off the run and moved straight away to the doors of the Scientific Library, then pulled up.

 Not only did Alexander Leonidovich recollect those years because he was young, but he loved that time for the incredible sense of life. Many young people, war veterans came to the Academy. They have an ardent desire to make up for the lost time, to complete which hadn’t been completed because of the war and the short of time, to create that world, where they would live by right better.

Despite all the hardships which were typical for that time, our life at the Institute was fascinating and eventful. What’s more, students learned everything very enthusiastically; they organized many events in which a high number of people were engaged. The great majority of the Student Council members were former veterans of the WWII whose determination and exceptional organizational skills played an important part in the institutional life Alexander Leonidovich told us how students’ parties were organized in the studios. The table was set, and many young people were invited to those parties. Many young men and women came to the Academy: they were the students of the Leningrad State Conservatory, the State Leningrad University as well as from others city’s educational institutions. They have a nice time getting together: dancing, talking about art, playing the piano, in other words, life went on a full swing. I even saw a few photos taken at such events. Olia Oreshnikova, my former classmate and the granddaughter of Victor Mikhailovich Oreshnikiv, the famous Russian and Soviet artist, shew us these turning over the pages of an old family album. Cheerful and smiley faces looked at us from these photos. Andrei Andreevich, Alexander Leonidovich and Viktor Mikhailovich himself were also in these pictures. The last meeting with Alexander Leonidovich took place in 1987, after our final exams. Everything had been over: our exams, sleepless nights, the defence of my diploma work. I had to go to Moldavia, to the State Pedagogical Institute, where I was assigned and have to work. Having to make some arrangements before my departure, I came to the institute to sign my round list in the accounting department. I met Alexander Leonidovich in the corridor, near the office of the head of studies. We had a sweet talk, saying goodbye to each other. In the end, he wished me good luck and asked me to think of him if I would get together with my friends, the artists.

I have never seen him afterward; it was the last time we talked to each other. The news about his premature death came when I was in Kishinev: I knew about that from my friends who called me to tell me about that. Being unable to attend the funeral ceremony, I sent the telegram with my condolences. One of his colleagues, Professor Alexander Konstantinovich Sokolov, read it out loud.

Although some people are firmly convinced that there is no one person who can’t be replaced by another, I am not on the same page with them.It is an irrevocable loss for me. Every person is unique, continuing to live after their death because people have the memory of their deeds. Good deeds are always remembered. These memories live in our hearts and souls. Many of artworks, created by Alexander Leonidovich Korolev exist to this day.

One of which is the mosaic on the wall of the building of the Physical and Mathematical Faculty of the State St.Petersburg University, above the entrance, where by coincidence is studying Artem, my son. Another work of Alexander Leonidovich, the stained-glass window is above the moving staircase in the Gostiny Dvor metro station. The composition of this artwork is devoted to the first Russian Revolution of 1905, eclipsed by very expensive advertising billboards, however. It is our reality, the sign of the growing Russian capitalism. Who knows, the time will go by, and these advertising boards will be the thing of the past. I firmly believe in that.

I have one photo from my student years in my album. My friends, AlexanderLeonidovich, and I were photographed at the community work day, in other words, subbotnik. It was one of the first sunny days that spring. Lekha Ivanov, Valka Bobilkov, and I: we’re staying with Alexander Leonidovich. He is smiling with his broad smile: to students, his guys, the sun, good weather, he is in a positive mood. I still remember him as it is in this photo: a smiley, very kind and outgoing person.




Да, Вы не ошиблись, именно в мастерскую, потому что, именно мастерская является домом для художника и его картин. Пусть это будет пока виртуальная студия. Это даже лучше для первого знакомства. Во всяком случае, туда попасть легче и проще, чем в реальную мастерскую. Художник создает свои произведения не только для себя, но и для зрителей, и ему очень важна их оценка его труда. Показывая работы, он ищет, прежде всего, диалога с теми людьми, которые к нему пришли и с которыми он пытается найти контакт посредством образов своих картин.

Каждый человек в своей жизни ищет наиболее подходящие ему способы самовыражения. Я, сколько себя помню всю свою жизнь мечтал стать художником. Я не знаю почему, но, в начале, мне нравилось срисовывать красивые пейзажи, цветы, а также копии с картин знаменитых художников. Потом, я нашел отклик и поддержку у своего учителя, Юрия Романовича Хлебникова. Он преподавал в нашей школе уроки черчения и рисования, был очень увлеченным человеком и передал мне свою любовь к природе и к творчеству любимых им художников-импрессионистов.

Учеба в Свердловском художественном училище и Санкт-Петербургском Государственном институте живописи, скульптуры и архитектуры им.И.Е.Репина и встреча в стенах этого учебного заведения таких замечательных мастеров как А.А.Мыльникова, А.Л.Королева, Е.Е.Моисеенко, Б.С.Угарова,  Ю.М.Непринцева, дала мне очень много нового и полезного, и несмотря на то, что, большую часть времени приходилось писать и рисовать в стенах мастерской, я никогда не забывал об уроках моего детства и ранней юности. Для  меня живопись это не только интересное времяпровождение, но и способ изучения мира, как, например, это мы видим у художников-импрессионистов, которые художественно выражали то, что ученые открыли , изучая особенности света.

В молодости хочется все испытать и перепробовать. Я работал в различных живописных манерах, пытался через наиболее яркие изобразительные средства, отразить окружающий меня мир, выявить то богатство формы и цвета, которое , как будто спрятана в каждом объекте.  Я восхищался Матиссом и Модильяни, Пикассо и Сезанном, мне интересны были искания современных художников, их композиционные и цветовые находки. Но, я всегда считал, что новое и оригинальное в искусстве должно существовать не только для себя самого или для того, чтобы поразить окружающих. Оно должно исходить из самой сущности природы и умения художника наиболее ярко отразить окружающий мир. Возможно поэтому, всю жизнь я не перестаю учиться у импрессионистов.  Не думая о научных открытиях, они их сделали, работая на природе, отражая единственный и неповторимый момент жизни.  Об этом писал Луи Эмиль Эдмон Дюранти,  французский романист и литературно-художественный критик, современник  и друг художников-импрессионистов.

«Это было большой неожиданностью в тот период, когда, казалось, не оставалось ничего не открытого  наукой… увидеть , новые, вдруг возникающие идеи.      Новая ветвь развивалась из ствола старого  искусства…Колористическая схема, тип рисунка и серии оригинальных видов… В области цвета они сделали гениальное открытие, чей источник нельзя было найти еще где-либо. Это открытие в действительности, состоит в признании того, что сильный свет обесцвечивает тона, что солнечный свет отраженный объектами, имеет тенденцию, в силу его чистоты, приводить их обратно к световому единству, которое «сплавляет» свои семь спектральных лучей в единое бесцветное сияние, которое и есть свет. От интуиции к интуиции, они мало-помалу достигали цели в разделении солнечного цвета, на  лучи, их элементы, и, составляя  опять их единство, посредством общей гармонии цветов в спектре, которую они отражали  на своих полотнах. С точки зрения деликатности  взгляда, изысканности проникновения искусства цвета, это, крайне необычный результат. Наиболее  эрудированный физик не мог бы поспорить с их анализом цвета». (Цитирую по книге: J.RevaldThe history of Impressionism”.

     На мой взгляд, это чрезвычайно сложно начать и довести до исключительной степени законченности работу на пленере, при всей кажущейся легкости и даже небрежности исполнения этих картин, которую не могли оценить по достоинству большинство современников. Изучать природу через живопись, и учиться у этих великих мастеров, что может быть лучше и увлекательнее для человека,  посвятившего себя искусству живописи! Постоянно сталкиваешься с трудностями, вполне прозаического характера. Например, как  поймать в начале и сохранить состояние цвета и освещенности предметов в конце работы над пейзажем или портретом в пленере? И где он, этот конец работы. Ни для кого не является тайной, что, например, Валентин Серов, создавая свои бессмертные портреты, такие как портрет  Татьяны Любатович и «Девочка с персиками», не отпускал своих моделей, заставляя позировать их по много сеансов, чтобы передать всю прелесть ускользающего цвета.

     Второй фактор, который важен для меня при создании пейзажа, это то, что называется «гением места», то, что благотворно воздействует на человека, находящегося в конкретной ауре. Это настроение, безусловно, передается зрителю через удачно написанную работу. Пригороды Санкт-Петербурга вообще, и Пушкин и Павловск, куда я обычно выезжаю, в частности, проникнуты атмосферой удивительного единения природы, искусства, обаяния исторических событий и личностей. Парки Царского Села и Павловска представляют собой удивительную симфонию природы, архитектуры и ландшафтного дизайна. Казалось бы, все эти годы, обследовав, буквально каждый уголок, не перестаешь находить все новые и новые виды, которые открываются твоему глазу, и буквально, просятся на холст. И когда, ты это находишь, то, как будто навсегда забываешь, и о капризах погоды, и о том, какое расстояние пришлось пройти в поисках заветного места, и о том, что реально останется на твоем холсте. Более того, смотря на свою работу зимой, вспоминаешь те мгновения, из которых как будто были сотканы те удивительные дни. Все краски, звуки и запахи оживают, и становятся как вино из одуванчиков у Рэя Бредбери, тем волшебным напитком, который символизирует пробуждение, расцвет и пышное увядание природы, и ты снова ждешь встречи с прекрасным. И если найдется кто-нибудь, который хотя-бы в малейшей степени будет чувствовать то же самое, не это ли самая большая удача для художника!